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phoenyx's avatar

Why the phrase "meteoric rise"?

Asked by phoenyx (7377points) May 15th, 2008

Meteors don’t rise. They are meteoroids that have enter the earth’s atmosphere and will soon get burned up as they come crashing to the ground. It seems like an oxymoron.

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3 Answers

playthebanjo's avatar

Similar to a meteor in speed, brilliance, or brevity: a meteoric rise to fame. meteoric – definition of meteoric by the Free Online Dictionary, Thesaurus and Encyclopedia.

Jonsonite's avatar

You could presumably have a meteoric fall, as well. I believe that meteoric rise includes a connotation of instability—the rise might not have a solid foundation.

marinelife's avatar

Lots of people agree with you about this phrase, even astronomers: http://www.badastronomy.com/bad/misc/meteoric.html

play the banjo and Jonsonite are right, it is not about up and down, but about fleeting and sudden:

meteoric Synonyms
meteoric

modif.

brilliant, swift, transient, sudden; see bright 1, fleeting.

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