meteoroid

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meteoroid Small, extraterrestrial body, within the solar system, that may enter the Earth's atmosphere if its orbit around the Sun crosses that of the Earth. Strictly, at the point where a meteoroid enters the atmosphere it is referred to as a meteor; if it reaches the Earth's surface it is known as a meteorite.

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me·te·or·oid / ˈmētēəˌroid/ • n. Astron. a small body moving in the solar system that would become a meteor if it entered the earth's atmosphere. DERIVATIVES: me·te·o·roid·al / ˌmētēəˈroidl/ adj.