meteor

2 definitions found

From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 [gcide]:

Meteor \Me"te*or\, noun [F. m['e]t['e]ore, Gr. ?, pl. ? things in the air, fr. ? high in air, raised off the ground; ? beyond + ?, ?, a suspension or hovering in the air, fr. ? to lift, raise up.]

1. Any phenomenon or appearance in the atmosphere, as clouds, rain, hail, snow, etc.

Hail, an ordinary meteor. --Bp. Hall.

2. Specif.: A transient luminous body or appearance seen in the atmosphere, or in a more elevated region.

The vaulty top of heaven Figured quite o'er with burning meteors. --Shak.

3. A mass of stone or other substance which sometimes falls to the earth from space beyond the moon, burning up from atomospheric friction and creating a brilliant but usually very brief trail of light in the atmosphere; also called a {shooting star}. [PJC]

Note: The term is especially applied to fireballs, and the masses of stone or other substances which sometimes fall to the earth; also to shooting stars and to ignes fatui. Meteors are often classed as: aerial meteors, winds, tornadoes, etc.; aqueous meteors, rain, hail, snow, dew, etc.; luminous meteors, rainbows, halos, etc.; and igneous meteors, lightning, shooting stars, and the like.

From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) [wn]:

meteor

noun

1: (astronomy) any of the small solid extraterrestrial bodies that hits the earth's atmosphere [syn: {meteoroid}, {meteor}]

2: a streak of light in the sky at night that results when a meteoroid hits the earth's atmosphere and air friction causes the meteoroid to melt or vaporize or explode [syn: {meteor}, {shooting star}]


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