meteorlike

meteor

[mee-tee-er, -awr]
noun
1.
Astronomy.
a.
a meteoroid that has entered the earth's atmosphere.
b.
a transient fiery streak in the sky produced by a meteoroid passing through the earth's atmosphere; a shooting star or bolide.
2.
any person or object that moves, progresses, becomes famous, etc., with spectacular speed.
3.
(formerly) any atmospheric phenomenon, as hail or a typhoon.
4.
(initial capital letter) Military. Britain's first operational jet fighter, a twin-engine aircraft that entered service in 1944.

Origin:
1570–80; < Neo-Latin meteōrum < Greek metéōron meteor, a thing in the air, noun use of neuter of metéōros raised in the air, equivalent to met- met- + eōr- (variant stem of aéirein to raise) + -os adj. suffix

meteorlike, adjective

meteor, meteoric, meteorite, meteoroid.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
meteor (ˈmiːtɪə)
 
n
1.  a very small meteoroid that has entered the earth's atmosphere. Such objects have speeds approaching 70 kilometres per second
2.  shooting star, Also called: falling star the bright streak of light appearing in the sky due to the incandescence of such a body heated by friction at its surface
 
[C15: from Medieval Latin meteōrum, from Greek meteōron something aloft, from meteōros lofty, from meta- (intensifier) + aeirein to raise]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

meteor
late 15c., "any atmospheric phenomenon," from M.Fr. meteore (13c.), from M.L. meteorum (nom. meteora), from Gk. ta meteora "the celestial phenomena," pl. of meteoron, lit. "thing high up," neut. of meteoros (adj.) "high up," from meta- "over, beyond" (see meta-) + -aoros "lifted, hovering in air," related
to aeirein "to raise" (see aorta). Specific sense of "fireball, shooting star" is attested from 1590s. Atmospheric phenomena were formerly classified as aerial meteors (wind), aqueous meteors (rain, snow, hail), luminous meteors (aurora, rainbows), and igneous meteors (lightning, shooting stars).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
meteor   (mē'tē-ər)  Pronunciation Key 
  1. A bright trail or streak of light that appears in the night sky when a meteoroid enters the Earth's atmosphere. The friction with the air causes the rock to glow with heat. Also called shooting star.

  2. A rocky body that produces such light. Most meteors burn up before reaching the Earth's surface. See Note at solar system.


Our Living Language  : The streaks of light we sometimes see in the night sky and call meteors were not identified as interplanetary rocks until the 19th century. Before then, the streaks of light were considered only one of a variety of atmospheric phenomena, all of which bore the name meteor. Rain was an aqueous meteor, winds and storms were airy meteors, and streaks of light in the sky were fiery meteors. This general use of meteor survives in our word meteorology, the study of the weather and atmospheric phenomena. Nowadays, astronomers use any of three words for rocks from interplanetary space, depending on their stage of descent to the Earth. A meteoroid is a rock in space that has the potential to collide with the Earth's atmosphere. Meteoroids range in size from a speck of dust to a chunk about 100 meters in diameter, though most are smaller than a pebble. When a meteoroid enters the atmosphere, it becomes a meteor. The light that it gives off when heated by friction with the atmosphere is also called a meteor. If the rock is not obliterated by the friction and lands on the ground, it is called a meteorite. For this term, scientists borrowed the -ite suffix used in the names of minerals like malachite and pyrite.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

meteor definition


A streak of light in the sky, often called a “shooting star,” that occurs when a bit of extraterrestrial matter falls into the atmosphere of the Earth and burns up.

Note: Meteor showers occur at regular times during the year.
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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