A meteor in the sky.
A shooting star caused by a small object from outer space entering the earth's atmosphere is an example of a meteor.
- the luminous phenomenon observed when a meteoroid is heated by its entry into the earth's atmosphere; shooting star; falling star
- loosely a meteoroid or meteorite
- Meteorol. any atmospheric phenomenon, as precipitation, lightning, or a rainbow
Origin of meteorMiddle English from Medieval Latin meteorum from Classical Greek mete?ron, plural mete?ra, things in the air from mete?ros, lifted up, in air from meta, beyond (see meta-) + e?ra, a hovering in the air (akin to aeirein, to lift up)
- A bright streak of light that appears in the sky when a meteoroid is heated to incandescence by friction with the earth's atmosphere. Also called falling star . Also called meteor burst . Also called shooting star .
- A meteoroid or meteorite.
- Archaic Any atmospheric phenomenon, such as a rainbow, lightning, or snow.
Origin of meteorMiddle English metheour atmospheric phenomenon from Old French meteore from Medieval Latin meteōrum from Greek meteōron astronomical phenomenon from neuter of meteōros high in the air meta- meta- -āoros lifted āeirein to lift up ; see wer-1 in Indo-European roots.
- (archaic) Any atmospheric phenomenon. (Thus the derivation of meteorology.) These were sometimes classified as aerial or airy meteors (winds), aqueous or watery meteors (hydrometeors: clouds, rain, snow, hail, dew, frost), luminous meteors (rainbows and aurora), and igneous or fiery meteors (lightning and shooting stars [next]).
- A fast-moving streak of light in the night sky caused by the entry of extraterrestrial matter into the earth's atmosphere: A shooting star or falling star.
- (juggling) A prop similar to poi balls, in that it is twirled at the end of a cord or cable.
- (martial arts) A striking weapon resembling a track and field hammer consisting of a weight swung at the end of a cable or chain.
Middle English, from Latin meteorum, from Ancient Greek Î¼ÎµÏ„ÎÏ‰ÏÎ¿Î½ (meteÅron), from Î¼ÎµÏ„ÎÏ‰ÏÎ¿Ï‚ (meteÅros, “raised from the ground, hanging, lofty"), from Î¼ÎµÏ„Î¬ (meta, “in the midst of, among, between") (English meta) + á¼€ÎµÎ¯ÏÏ‰ (aeiro, “to lift, to heave, to raise up").
Original sense of “atmospheric phenomenon" gave rise to meteorology, now restricted to extraterrestrial objects burning up as they enter the atmosphere.