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[mee-tee-uh-rahyt] /ˈmi ti əˌraɪt/
a mass of stone or metal that has reached the earth from outer space; a fallen meteoroid.
a meteoroid.
Origin of meteorite
First recorded in 1815-25; meteor + -ite1
Related forms
[mee-tee-uh-rit-ik] /ˌmi ti əˈrɪt ɪk/ (Show IPA),
meteoritical, meteorital
[mee-tee-uh-rahyt-l] /ˌmi ti əˈraɪt l/ (Show IPA),
Can be confused
meteor, meteoric, meteorite, meteoroid. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for meteorites
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • More like seeds germinating than meteorites cooling, wouldnt you say?

    Spawn of the Comet Harold Thompson Rich
  • And meteorites, as we know, are largely metallic in composition.

    Vampires of Space Sewell Peaslee Wright
  • That's about 800 times the duration that the orthodox give to meteors and meteorites.

    The Book of the Damned Charles Fort
  • Stratification in meteorites, however, is denied by the faithful.

    The Book of the Damned Charles Fort
  • It has the pitted surface that is supposed by the faithful to be characteristic of meteorites.

    The Book of the Damned Charles Fort
  • meteorites that plunge through these lakes, on their way to this earth.

    The Book of the Damned Charles Fort
  • The shell of meteorites was at least a hundred miles thick and constantly shifting.

    Exile Horace Brown Fyfe
  • A "social" group of meteorites is the essential part of a comet.

British Dictionary definitions for meteorites


a rocklike object consisting of the remains of a meteoroid that has fallen on earth. It may be stony (chondrite), iron, or stony iron (pallasite) See chondrite
Derived Forms
meteoritic (ˌmiːtɪəˈrɪtɪk) 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 meteorites



"rock that falls to earth, after streaking across the sky as a meteor," 1818, from meteor + -ite.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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meteorites in Science
A meteor that reaches the Earth's surface because it has not been burned up by friction with the atmosphere. Meteorites are believed to be fragments of comets and asteroids. ◇ Meteorites that consist mostly of silicates are called stony meteorites and are classified as either chondrites or achondrites. ◇ Meteorites that consist mostly of iron are called iron meteorites. ◇ Meteorites that consist of a mixture of silicates and iron are called stony-iron meteorites.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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meteorites in Culture

meteorites definition

Objects from outside the Earth that enter the Earth's field of gravitation and fall to the Earth's surface. Meteors, on the other hand, are objects from space that burn up in the Earth's atmosphere.

Note: Meteorites are bodies that are left over from the time when the planets formed, and therefore give us clues about the formation of the solar system.
The 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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