When Meleager was born, the Moirae predicted he would only live until a brand, burning in the family hearth, was consumed by fire. Althaea immediately hid the brand.
Meleager married Cleopatra, daughter of Idas.
Oeneus sent Meleager to gather up heroes to hunt the Calydonian Boar that had been stalking the area. Among many others, he chose Atalanta, a fierce huntress, whom he loved. According to one account of the hunt, Hylaeus and Rhaecus, two centaurs, tried to rape Atalanta. Meleager killed them. Then, Atalanta wounded the boar and Meleager killed it. He awarded her the hide since she had drawn the first drop of blood. Toxeus and Plexippus (Alphaea's brothers) grew enraged that the prize was given to a woman. Meleager killed them in the ensuing argument. He also killed Iphicles and Eurypylus for insulting Atalanta.
Since Meleager had killed her two brothers, Althaea placed the brand back upon the fire, killing him.
Later, Meleager was one of the Argonauts.
With Atalanta, Meleager was the father of Parthenopeus.