me·te·or | \ˈmē-tē-ər, -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

Viewers don’t have to worry about finding the constellation, though, as meteors will appear across the sky at random times. Mahita Gajanan, Time, "The Lyrid Meteor Shower Is Coming This Weekend. Here’s How to See One of The Best Meteor Showers of the Year," 17 Apr. 2018 Todd said the meteor appeared to come in at a low angle and broke up just above the clouds. Kale Williams,, "Mysterious flash in the sky, sonic boom likely a meteor," 8 Mar. 2018 This year, Perseid is expected to produce almost double the number of meteors per hour than usual. Cory Stieg, Good Housekeeping, "6 Things You Need to Know About Tonight's Epic Perseid Meteor Shower," 11 Aug. 2016 The Delta Aquarids typically produce about 15 to 20 meteors per hour during their peak. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "Enjoy a Cool Space Show Tonight When the Delta Aquarids Meteor Shower Appears," 28 July 2016 That meteor broke windows in six Russian cities and caused more than 1,500 people to seek medical attention, mostly due to injuries from flying glass, EarthSky said. Doyle Rice, USA TODAY, "Small asteroid, first spotted hours earlier, disintegrates over Africa," 3 June 2018 Trish Kirkman shared this video of the Michigan meteor captured by a Samsung SmartCam at her house in Novi. Aleanna Siacon, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan meteorite from January to be auctioned at Christie's," 12 Feb. 2018 The Perseid meteors come from when Earth passes through the remnants of Comet Swift-Tuttle. Richard Tribou,, "Mars in opposition highlight of July's night sky," 3 July 2018 These meteors are swift — traveling at about 148,000 mph into Earth's atmosphere. Doyle Rice, USA TODAY, "Spring's best meteor shower peaks this weekend with the Eta Aquarids," 4 May 2018

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about meteor

Phrases Related to meteor

meteor shower

Statistics for meteor

Last Updated

24 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for meteor

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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 \

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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on meteor

Spanish Central: Translation of meteor

Nglish: Translation of meteor for Spanish Speakers

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

Comments on meteor

What made you want to look up meteor? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to teach someone the beliefs of a group

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Roman Mythology Quiz

  • the-triumph-of-venus-by-alessandro-magnasco
  • Boreal comes from the name of the ancient Greek god of which wind?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!