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 formsme·te·or·it·ic [mee-tee-uh-rit-ik] /ˌmi ti əˈrɪt ɪk/, me·te·or·it·i·cal, me·te·or·it·al [mee-tee-uh-rahyt-l] /ˌmi ti əˈraɪt l/, adjective
Can be confusedmeteor meteoric meteorite meteoroid Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for meteorites

bolide, comet, fireball, meteorite, meteoroid

Examples from the Web for meteorites

Contemporary Examples of meteorites

Historical Examples of meteorites

  • 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.

  • Stratification in meteorites, however, is denied by the faithful.

  • It has the pitted surface that is supposed by the faithful to be characteristic of meteorites.

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 Formsmeteoritic (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

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

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 © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

meteorites in Culture


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.


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 Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.