me·​te·​or | \ ˈmē-tē-ər How to pronounce meteor (audio) , -ˌȯr \

Definition of meteor

1 : an atmospheric phenomenon (such as lightning or a snowfall)
2a : 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

Examples of meteor in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web There’s a reassuring sense that a meteor could be hurtling toward earth right now, and this crew would be here on Zoom, singing and making off-color comments in the chat function. San Francisco Chronicle, "Oakland’s Alley doesn’t miss a beat going virtual," 24 Jan. 2021 Nicolas Cage plays the patriarch of a family that moves to a remote farm, at which a glowing meteor seems to crash in the front yard. Brian Tallerico, Vulture, "The 50 Best Horror Movies on Shudder," 2 Jan. 2021 The Leonids meteor shower happens annually throughout much of November. Tess Williams, Anchorage Daily News, "Dark, clear skies mean Alaskans may get a good view of a meteor shower tonight," 17 Nov. 2020 The Leonid meteor shower happens as a result of the comet 55P/Tempel-Tuttle, which has a 33-year orbit around the sun. Chris Ciaccia, Fox News, "Leonid meteor shower will light up the sky this week: What to know," 16 Nov. 2020 The Quadrantid meteor shower, the first of the year and one of the best annual meteor showers, reached its peak over the weekend. N'dea Yancey-bragg, USA TODAY, "Skwatchers capture dazzling photos of the Quadrantids, the first meteor shower of 2021," 4 Jan. 2021 One of the best meteor showers of the year, the Perseids promise to be a good show this year, with a new moon just a few days before the shower’s peak. oregonlive, "Stargazing calendar 2021: Eclipses, meteor showers and other astronomical events this year," 30 Dec. 2020 The usual rules for meteor-watching apply: go to a dark country location in the hours before sunrise. Paul Douglas, Star Tribune, "A New Era of Super-Sized Hurricanes?," 13 Nov. 2020 The Geminid meteor shower is also ongoing through Sunday, and the winter solstice occurs a day later on December 21. Ashley Strickland, CNN, "Ursid meteor shower peaks this week around winter solstice," 20 Dec. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'meteor.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of meteor

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for 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

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Time Traveler for meteor

Time Traveler

The first known use of meteor was in the 15th century

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Statistics for meteor

Last Updated

24 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Meteor.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for meteor



English Language Learners Definition of meteor

: 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


me·​te·​or | \ ˈmē-tē-ər How to pronounce meteor (audio) \

Kids Definition of meteor

: one of the small pieces of matter in the solar system that enter the earth's atmosphere where friction may cause them to glow and form a streak of light

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More from Merriam-Webster on meteor

Nglish: Translation of meteor for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of meteor for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about meteor

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