sat·​el·​lite | \ ˈsa-tə-ˌlīt How to pronounce satellite (audio) \

Definition of satellite

1a : a celestial body orbiting another of larger size
b : a manufactured object or vehicle intended to orbit the earth, the moon, or another celestial body
2 : someone or something attendant, subordinate, or dependent especially : a country politically and economically dominated or controlled by another more powerful country
3 : a usually independent urban community situated near but not immediately adjacent to a large city
5 : a hired agent or obsequious follower : minion, sycophant

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Other Words from satellite

satellite adjective

Examples of satellite in a Sentence

Satellites help meteorologists predict the weather. Images of the planet are sent by satellite.
Recent Examples on the Web Leif Olmanson has spent most of his career tracking Minnesota's lakes from space, poring over decades of satellite images and crunching data on water clarity. Jennifer Bjorhus, Star Tribune, "North-central Minnesota lakes are getting murkier faster," 20 Feb. 2021 New satellite images show USS Theodore Roosevelt aircraft carrier approaching Scarborough Shoal in the South China Sea at a distance of 24 nautical miles before turning back on January 25. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "The U.S. and China Are Annoying Each Other With a Ton of Warplanes," 27 Jan. 2021 Its meteorological report spans 394 pages and includes satellite images, surface observations, photos, maps and other assorted data. USA Today, "What we know about the Kobe Bryant helicopter crash, one year later," 25 Jan. 2021 Researchers are using centuries-old British sea charts and advanced technology, such as camera drones and satellite images, to trace shifts in the abundance and distribution of kelp beds over time, said geographer Maycira Costa. Rochelle Baker, Wired, "A New Project Maps the Pacific Coast's Critical Kelp Forests," 23 Jan. 2021 The researchers used satellite images of smoke plumes and government air quality data to model how much pollution was generated nationwide by fires from 2016 to 2018 compared to a decade earlier. Matthew Brown, Anchorage Daily News, "Study: Wildfires produced up to half of health-damaging air pollution in Western states," 12 Jan. 2021 The team analyzed 67,000 miles of large rivers via satellite images and found that 56 percent appeared yellow and 38 percent green. Rasha Aridi, Smithsonian Magazine, "A Third of the United States’ Rivers Have Changed Color Since 1984, Satellite Images Reveal," 4 Jan. 2021 Others count graves on satellite images, or ask gravediggers, as in the 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa. New York Times, "A Continent Where the Dead Are Not Counted," 2 Jan. 2021 An analysis of satellite images published in September 2020 by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, a research group, estimates that over 8,000 mosques have been destroyed. The Economist, "China uses tourism to smother Xinjiang’s culture," 30 Dec. 2020

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

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First Known Use of satellite

circa 1520, in the meaning defined at sense 5

History and Etymology for satellite

Middle French, from Latin satellit-, satelles attendant

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Time Traveler for satellite Time Traveler

The first known use of satellite was circa 1520

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Statistics for satellite

Last Updated

26 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Satellite.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for satellite



English Language Learners Definition of satellite

: an object (such as a moon) that moves around a much larger planet
: a machine that is sent into space and that moves around the earth, moon, sun, or a planet
: a country, organization, etc., that is controlled by a larger and more powerful country, organization, etc.


sat·​el·​lite | \ ˈsa-tə-ˌlīt How to pronounce satellite (audio) \

Kids Definition of satellite

1 : a smaller body that revolves around a planet
2 : an object or vehicle sent out from the earth to revolve around the earth, moon, sun, or a planet


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

Medical Definition of satellite

1 : a short segment separated from the main body of a chromosome by a constriction

called also trabant

2 : the secondary or later member of a chain of gregarines
3 : a bodily structure lying near or associated with another (as a vein accompanying an artery)
4 : a smaller lesion accompanying a main one and situated nearby
5 : a spectral line of low intensity having a frequency close to that of another stronger line to which it is closely related (as by having a common energy level)

Other Words from satellite

satellite adjective

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