Explanation of meteor by Wordnet Dictionary
- Meteor n. [F. météore, 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.
☞ 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.
Definition of meteor by GCIDE Dictionary