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meteoroid

[mee-tee-uh-roid] /ˈmi ti əˌrɔɪd/
noun, Astronomy
1.
any of the small bodies, often remnants of comets, traveling through space: when such a body enters the earth's atmosphere it is heated to luminosity and becomes a meteor.
Origin
1860-1865
1860-65; meteor + -oid
Can be confused
meteor, meteoric, meteorite, meteoroid.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for meteoroid

meteoroid

/ˈmiːtɪəˌrɔɪd/
noun
1.
any of the small celestial bodies that are thought to orbit the sun, possibly as the remains of comets. When they enter the earth's atmosphere, they become visible as meteors
Derived Forms
meteoroidal, adjective
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for meteoroid
n.

"rock floating in space, which becomes a meteor when it enters Earth's atmosphere," formed in English, 1865, from meteor + -oid.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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meteoroid in Science
meteoroid
  (mē'tē-ə-roid')   
A small, rocky or metallic body revolving in interplanetary space around the Sun. A meteoroid is significantly smaller than an asteroid, ranging from small grains or particles to the size of large boulders. The clustered meteoroids associated with regular annual meteor showers are believed to be very small particles of cometary debris. Meteoroids that survive their passage through the Earth's atmosphere and land as meteorites are somewhat larger, solitary bodies and are encountered in no predictable pattern. See Note at meteor.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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