noun \ˈmē-tē-ər, -ˌr\

: a piece of rock or metal that burns and glows brightly in the sky as it falls from outer space into the Earth's atmosphere

Full Definition of METEOR

:  an atmospheric phenomenon (as lightning or a snowfall)
a :  any of the small particles of matter in the solar system that are directly observable only by their incandescence from frictional heating on entry into the atmosphere
b :  the streak of light produced by the passage of a meteor

Origin of METEOR

Middle English metheour, from Middle French meteore, from Medieval Latin meteorum, from Greek meteōron, from neuter of meteōros high in air, from meta- + -eōros, from aeirein to lift
First Known Use: 15th century

Other Astronomy Terms

gibbous, nadir, nebulous, penumbra, retrograde, sidereal, syzygy, wane, wax, zenith


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Streak of light in the sky that results when a particle or small chunk of stony or metallic matter from space enters Earth's atmosphere and is vapourized by friction. The term is sometimes applied to the falling object itself, properly called a meteoroid. Most meteoroids, traveling at five times the speed of sound or more, burn up in the upper atmosphere, but a large one may survive its fiery plunge and reach the surface as a solid body (meteorite). See also meteor shower.

Variants of METEOR

meteor or shooting star or falling star


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