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 Astronomers aren’t even sure where the meteors hail from. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian Magazine, "How to Catch the Quadrantids, the First Major Meteor Shower of the 2020s," 30 Dec. 2019 During the the Ursids, the waning crescent moon won’t rise until after 4 a.m. local time, so skies should be dark enough to spot even the fainter meteors. Andrew Fazekas, National Geographic, "Meteor outburst predicted for this weekend: When and where to see it," 20 Dec. 2019 The meteors come from the dust trail of an unknown comet. Scott Dance,, "An outburst of hundreds of meteors is forecast Thursday night, visible in Maryland — if it’s not too cloudy," 20 Nov. 2019 When viewing meteors, be sure to give yourself at least 20 minutes for your eyes to adapt to the darkness. Arnold Pearlstein,, "The Stars This Week: Oct. 20-26," 20 Oct. 2019 The Delta Aquarid meteors travel around 25 miles per second, or about 90,000 miles per hour. Currie Engel, Time, "The Peak of the Delta Aquarid Meteor Shower Is Coming. Here's How to Watch It," 26 July 2019 During its peak, 60 to as many as 200 Quadrantid meteors can be seen per hour under perfect conditions, according to NASA. Editors, USA TODAY, "Qasem Soleimani killing, Hanukkah party stabbing, Australia wildfires: 5 things to know Friday," 3 Jan. 2020 They are created from larger particles of material and are brighter than average meteors. Sophie Lewis, CBS News, "The Quadrantid meteor shower will light up the sky this weekend. Here's how to watch.," 2 Jan. 2020 For those in especially dim parts of the Northern Hemisphere, more than 100 meteors might shimmer through the skies every hour. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian Magazine, "How to Catch the Quadrantids, the First Major Meteor Shower of the 2020s," 30 Dec. 2019

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

29 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Meteor.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for meteor


How to pronounce meteor (audio)

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

Spanish Central: Translation of meteor

Nglish: Translation of meteor for Spanish Speakers

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

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