Does the phrase "meteoric rise" connote that the rise is short-lived? Particularly bright? Generally lateral?
It just seems like a meteor is not the best metaphor for a triumphant and lasting ascendancy.
Not necessarily short-lived, however this definition does include brevity
And here's a discussion on this with a counterpoint:
Meteoric in this case refers to speed, not direction. My Webster's gives it a figurative meaning of (of the development of something, esp. a person's career) very rapid : her meteoric rise to the top of her profession.
Nevertheless, since the direction a meteor takes is downward, the term may occasion a little merriment, and I can imagine cases where it could be used ironically.
From several sources:
Thus a meteor may transect the earth's atmosphere in any direction but always quickly and, by virtue of its speed and the finite size of the atmosphere, briefly. Thus a meteoric career is rapid and brief.
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