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)
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.
Origin: F. Meteore, 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.