mi·​cro·​sat·​el·​lite | \ ˌmī-krō-ˈsa-tə-ˌlīt How to pronounce microsatellite (audio) \

Definition of microsatellite

: any of numerous short segments of DNA that are distributed throughout the genome, that consist of repeated sequences of usually two to five nucleotides, and that tend to vary from one individual to another

Examples of microsatellite in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

To test it, the zoo keepers compared the DNA of the mother and her daughter, and analyzed the genetic material in 14 places along their genetic codes, or microsatellites. Ryan W. Miller, USA TODAY, "Without the help of any male, this female lizard became pregnant alone and gave birth," 7 June 2019 Only one of the two microsatellites was outfitted with an optical camera developed by the King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology of Saudi Arabia. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Chinese Satellite Nabs Stunning Moon-Earth Shot," 6 Feb. 2019 Vector’s business plan calls for hauling hundreds of customers’ microsatellites into low-Earth orbit. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "The Space Launch Legend Who's Backing a Startup," 8 Nov. 2018 Similar manufacturing advances also diffuse military power—through ubiquitous sensors, inexpensive and autonomous drones, high-powered nanoexplosives, and less costly access to space through microsatellites. George P. Shultz, WSJ, "America Can Ride the 21st Century’s Waves of Change," 27 June 2018 Together with Queqiao, two microsatellites—Longjiang 1 and 2, developed by China’s Harbin Institute of Technology—hitched a ride for release into lunar orbit to investigate radio bursts from the sun. Leonard David, Scientific American, "Comsat Launch Bolsters China's Dreams for Landing on the Moon's Far Side," 22 May 2018 The country is developing a smaller rocket for microsatellites that will be launched from Alcantara next year, boosted by engines developed by the German Aerospace Center. Anthony Boadle, The Christian Science Monitor, "Brazil emerges as partner for US satellite industry," 8 Mar. 2018 Last December, NASA launched a constellation of eight identical microsatellites, called the Cyclone Global Navigation Satellite System (CYGNSS), to fill the gap. Paul Voosen, Science | AAAS, "Hurricane Harvey provides lab for U.S. forecast experiments," 28 Aug. 2017 The microsatellites will be capable of launching on other small satellite rockets as well. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "Satellites that can image Earth at night, and through clouds, near launch," 23 Aug. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'microsatellite.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of microsatellite

1989, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about microsatellite

Statistics for microsatellite

Last Updated

28 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for microsatellite

The first known use of microsatellite was in 1989

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for microsatellite


mi·​cro·​sat·​el·​lite | \ -ˈsat-ᵊl-ˌīt How to pronounce microsatellite (audio) \

Medical Definition of microsatellite

: any of numerous short segments of DNA that are distributed throughout the genome, that consist of repeated sequences of usually two to five nucleotides, and that are often useful markers in studies of genetic linkage because they tend to vary from one individual to another — compare minisatellite

Comments on microsatellite

What made you want to look up microsatellite? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to form ideas or theories about something

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!