I hope a meteor falls on your head.


I hope a meteorite falls on your head.

And why?

Definition of meteor:

1 : an atmospheric phenomenon (such as lightning or a snowfall)

2a : any of the small particles of matter in the solar system that are directly observable only by their incandescence from frictional heating on entry into the atmosphere

2b : the streak of light produced by the passage of a meteor

Definition of meteorite:

a meteor that reaches the surface of the earth without being completely vaporized

Technically the rock hasn't reached the surface of the earth at the time of head hitting, but it would reach the surface of the earth without being vaporized (and probably still will) if it hadn't encountered the head. So, which is the correct term?

  • 5
    Please explain why your dictionary definitions don't answer your question.
    – AndyT
    Sep 18, 2018 at 8:31
  • Because a colleague and I do not agree, one of us think it should be meteor, and the other says meteorite.
    – Bugs Buggy
    Sep 18, 2018 at 8:40
  • 2
    Could you edit the question to add a brief description of the arguments that you have each given for your positions?
    – herisson
    Sep 18, 2018 at 8:46
  • 1
    @BugsBuggy - Are you happy with Pam's edit? Does it explain what you were struggling with? Or was it something different?
    – AndyT
    Sep 18, 2018 at 10:14
  • If you are happy with @Pam's edit, then you're talking about a technicality. And that would be within the realm of subject experts, not language experts. So astronomy.se might fit better. But I see you've cross-posted there anyway.
    – AndyT
    Sep 18, 2018 at 10:27

1 Answer 1


"Technically the rock hasn't reached the surface of the earth at the time of head hitting" makes it a meteor:

A meteor is a block of matter, relatively small by cosmological standards, that has descended into Earth’s atmosphere from outer space, burning a trail of dust and fire as its high speed produces friction with the air.

Note the after in the definition below:

A meteorite is the name for the rock that remains after a meteor strikes Earth’s surface.

src: ©2018 Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.

Of course, technically, a "meteorite" too can very well fall on one's head, though not from the heavens.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.