Me"te*or (?), n. [F. m'et'eore, 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.]


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

Hail, an ordinary meteor. Bp. Hall.


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.

⇒ 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.


© Webster 1913.