satellite

noun

sat·​el·​lite ˈsa-tə-ˌlīt How to pronounce satellite (audio)
1
a
: 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
4
5
: a hired agent or obsequious follower : minion, sycophant
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 Aid workers aren’t allowed to take radio equipment in; instead, they’ve been forced to rely on satellite phones during their forays through Gaza, which don’t always work. Louisa Loveluck, Washington Post, 6 Apr. 2024 Meanwhile, Grant Hopcraft of the University of Glasgow was attaching GPS satellite collars to migrating wildebeest and zebras to track animal movements. T. Michael Anderson, Discover Magazine, 6 Apr. 2024 The company also promised to give field teams additional satellite phones—the sort of thing Willenbring could have used when she was stuck with Marchant. David Kushner, WIRED, 4 Apr. 2024 And satellite images from around the time of the collapse appeared to show no skiff in the river near the bridge. Jake Offenhartz and Claudia Lauer, Quartz, 3 Apr. 2024 Archaeologists using lasers on a satellite found a circular crater on the northern coast of France — and made a monumental discovery. Irene Wright, Miami Herald, 2 Apr. 2024 Here’s how to stream Dodgers games this year, without paying for cable or satellite TV March 19, 2024 However, according to the Yonhap News Agency, no dangerous or suspicious situation was found. Jack Harris, Los Angeles Times, 20 Mar. 2024 The rocket was meant to deploy another batch of Starlink internet satellites to orbit Monday night. Laura Daniella Sepulveda, The Arizona Republic, 19 Mar. 2024 As a result of the blackout, the paramilitary group controls access to the internet in Jazira, charging residents money to use SpaceX’s Starlink satellite internet system for online services, including bank transfers. Pallabi Munsi, CNN, 19 Mar. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'satellite.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Middle French, from Latin satellit-, satelles attendant

First Known Use

circa 1520, in the meaning defined at sense 5

Time Traveler
The first known use of satellite was circa 1520

Dictionary Entries Near satellite

Cite this Entry

“Satellite.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/satellite. Accessed 21 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

satellite

noun
sat·​el·​lite ˈsat-ᵊl-ˌīt How to pronounce satellite (audio)
1
: a follower resembling a slave
2
a
: a heavenly body orbiting another of larger size
b
: a man-made object or vehicle intended to orbit the earth, the moon, or another heavenly body
3
: a country controlled by a more powerful country
satellite adjective
Etymology

from early French satellite "a person who follows or escorts someone of importance," from Latin satellit-, satelles "escort, attendant"

Word Origin
Although it is now closely connected with the modern world of space exploration, satellite is actually a very old word. Its origin can be traced to the Latin word satelles, meaning "one who escorts or follows after an important person." This is also the original meaning of satellite in English. Because such heavenly bodies as the moon can be thought of as "escorts" of the planets they orbit, they also became known as satellites. The satellites of modern times made by humans got their name because they, like the moon, orbit the earth.

Medical Definition

satellite

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