One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A large meteor which burns or glows brightly on entering the earth's atmosphere; a fireball. Compare "firedrake". Now historical.
Mid 17th century; earliest use found in Gideon Harvey (c1636–?1702), physician. From post-classical Latin draco volans large meteor, lit. ‘flying dragon’ from classical Latin dracō + volāns, present participle of volāre to fly.
draco volans/ˌdreɪkəʊ ˈvəʊlənz//ˌdreɪkəʊ ˈvɒlanz/
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