c. 1300, mēte, "having the right shape or size," from Old English gemæte, Anglian *gemete, "suitable, having the same dimensions," from Proto-Germanic *ga-mætijaz (source also of Old Norse mætr, Old High German gimagi, German gemäß "suitable"), from collective prefix *ga- + PIE root *med- "take appropriate measures." The formation is the same as that of commensurate. Meaning "proper, appropriate" is from early 14c.; that of "fit (to do something)" is from late 14c.
The mountain sheep are sweeter,
But the valley sheep are fatter;
We therefore deem'd it meeter
To carry off the latter.
[Thomas Love Peacock, from "The War-song of Dinas Vawr"]
"fallen nuts or acorns serving as food for animals." Old English mæst, the collective name for the fruit of the beech, oak, chestnut, and other forest trees, especially serving as food for swine, from Proto-Germanic *masto (source also of Dutch, Old High German, German mast "mast;" Old English verb mæsten "to fatten, feed"), perhaps from PIE *mad-sta-, from root *mad- "moist, wet," also used of various qualities of food (source also of Sanskrit madati "it bubbles, gladdens," medah "fat, marrow;" Latin madere "be sodden, be drunk;" Middle Persian mast "drunk;" Old English mete "food," Old High German muos "meal, mush-like food," Gothic mats "food").
"science of the earth's atmosphere, scientific study of weather and climate," especially with a view to forecasting the weather, 1610s, from French météorologie and directly from Greek meteōrologia "treatise on celestial phenomena," literally "discussion of high things," from meteōron "thing high up" (see meteor) + -logia "treatment of" (see -logy).
1560s, "of or pertaining to atmospheric phenomena," especially "of or pertaining to weather," from French météorologique or directly from a Latinized form of Greek meteōrologikos "pertaining to the earth's atmosphere, from meteōrologia, literally "discussion of high things" (see meteorology). Related: Meteorologically.
late 15c., "any atmospheric phenomenon," from Old French meteore (13c.) and directly from Medieval Latin meteorum (nominative meteora), from Greek ta meteōra "the celestial phenomena, things in heaven above," plural of meteōron, literally "thing high up," noun use of neuter of meteōros (adj.) "high up, raised from the ground, hanging," from meta "by means of" (see meta-) + -aoros "lifted, lifted up, suspended, hovering in air," related to aeirein "to raise" (from PIE root *wer- (1) "to raise, lift, hold suspended").
Specific sense of "fireball in the sky, shooting star" is attested from 1590s. Atmospheric phenomena were formerly classified as aerial meteors (wind), aqueous meteors (rain, snow, hail), luminous meteors (aurora, rainbows), and igneous meteors (lightning, shooting stars). All the other senses have fallen away. When still in space beyond the atmosphere it is a meteoroid; when fallen to earth it is a meteorite. A periodically recurring fall of them (usually associated with a comet) is a meteor shower (by 1853).
"rock or metallic mass of extraterrestrial origin that falls to earth after streaking across the sky as a meteor," 1818, from meteor + -ite. They were known from ancient times, but the idea that some such iron masses or rocks had fallen to earth from the sky attained credence among scientists c. 1800.