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

Lyrid meteors will streak in various directions, radiating from the constellation Lyra. 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 But the meteor also could have sentenced the dinosaurs to extinction by kicking up a huge amount of dust and other particles, causing a temporary dimming of the sun and global cooling, and generating acid rainfall. Katherine Long, The Seattle Times, "UW’s new provost plumbs one of Earth’s most fascinating mysteries," 22 Oct. 2018 According to NASA Meteor Watch, pieces of the meteor are likely on the ground in southeast Michigan and finding a piece could result in a windfall for someone. Leada Gore,, "See the meteor that lit up the sky over Michigan," 17 Jan. 2018 That meteor lit up metro Detroit like the early-morning sun, frightening thousands. Robert Allen, Detroit Free Press, "Finding Michigan's 5-mile crater, other meteor targets," 1 Feb. 2018 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

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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Statistics for meteor

Last Updated

3 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for meteor

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

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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 \

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

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 move with a clumsy heavy tread

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