Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A meteoric fireball.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Any extraterrestrial body that collides with Earth
  • n. An extremely bright meteor
  • n. A fireball

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A kind of meteor; a bolis.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A brilliant meteor.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. an especially luminous meteor (sometimes exploding)

Etymologies

French, from Latin bolis, bolid-, kind of meteor, from Greek, missile, flash (of lightning), from ballein, to throw; see gwelə- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From French bolide, from Latin bolis. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • "There's a very good chance it was what we call a bolide, which is a meteorite crossing the sky at extremely quick velocity -- very, very fast -- and as it hits the atmosphere at about

    CTV News RSS Feed

  • The satellites, it turned out, were also quite good at detecting the explosions - the official term is "bolide" - of meteorites like that over Tunguska.

    Wired Top Stories

  • The fireball – also called a bolide – created a dusty tail upon entering the atmosphere of the Earth.

    Asteroid Explosion over Indonesia | Universe Today

  • When an airbursting asteroid, called a bolide, exploded over an island region of Indonesia late last year, it rocked the residents' world with an estimated energy release of about 50

    Yahoo! News: Business - Opinion

  • But experts told The Daily Telegraph that the meteor, estimated to be the size of a football and travelling from east to west, was a "bolide" or "super fireball".

    Telegraph.co.uk - Telegraph online, Daily Telegraph and Sunday Telegraph

  • If we're lucky we'll get a moderately sized bolide impact in the next decade which hopefully will bring people to their senses.

    Why Some Say the Moon? - NASA Watch

  • The military thought that it was most likely a bolide?

    UFO files from National Archive allow believers to revisit 'Welsh Roswell'

  • The K/T (Cretaceous/Tertiary) boundary not only marks the disappearance of dinosaurs and 70 percent of the other species but has a distinct iridium layer discovered by Luis and Walter Alvarez, suggesting an extraterrestrial bolide.

    The Anthropocene

  • Mosasaurs, which ended up 40 feet long 12m at the end of the Cretaceous when they and dinosaurs and a whole lot of other life went extinct from a bolide impact, evolved fins from their limbs, and many of the primitive mosasaurs had partial limbs/fins.

    The Panda's Thumb: John S. Wilkins Archives

  • Even though this idea received scant attention in the mainstream press, with only Discover magazine blog allowing one of their editors to speculate on the statistical possibility of an errant bolide sealing the fate of AF 447, it cannot be discounted.

    What are they hiding? Flight 447 and Tunguska Type Events

Comments

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  • The word bolide comes from the Greek βολις, (bolis) which can mean a missile or to flash. The IAU has no official definition of bolide and generally considers the term synonymous with fireball. The term is more often used among geologists than astronomers where it means a very large impactor. For example, the USGS uses the term to mean a generic large crater forming projectile "to imply that we do not know the precise nature of the impacting body ... whether it is a rocky or metallic asteroid, or an icy comet, for example". Astronomers tend to use the term to mean an exceptionally bright fireball, particularly one that explodes (sometimes called a detonating fireball).
    _Wikipedia

    February 24, 2008

  • bolide ball of fire (meteor)

    January 30, 2007