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 The Quadrantids meteor shower arrives in late December/early January, the perfect time to throw a party in the desert to watch fireballs in the sky. Los Angeles Times, 26 Aug. 2021 Expect some brilliant lights in the night sky this summer: The Delta Aquariid meteor shower, which started this month, will be visible until Aug. 23 producing bright fireballs typically visible after midnight and before dawn. Miriam Fauzia, USA TODAY, 30 July 2021 Suspected to originate from Comet 96P Machholz, the Southern Delta Aquariids meteor shower occurs any time between July 12 and August 23 annually. Kristen Rogers, CNN, 28 July 2021 Unlike many meteor showers, the Draconids take place earlier in the night, rather than in the hours right after midnight. Skyler Caruso,, 6 Oct. 2021 However, because of light pollution, meteor enthusiasts closer to downtown Indianapolis should not expect that volume. Claire Rafford, The Indianapolis Star, 11 Aug. 2021 The best meteor viewing should be from 1-3 a.m. Park telescope will be available for viewing stars, planets and cosmic sights. Joan Rusek, cleveland, 2 Aug. 2021 And while the fireball may have looked quick to the human eye, it was actually considered a slow moving meteor. NBC News, 26 July 2021 David Finfrock said on Twitter that the bright ball of light was not a UFO, but a meteor that appeared to explode over North Texas. Nataly Keomoungkhoun, Dallas News, 26 July 2021

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

Time Traveler for meteor

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near meteor



Meteor Crater

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for meteor

Last Updated

22 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Meteor.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Oct. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

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 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

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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