sat·​el·​lite | \ˈsa-tə-ˌlīt \

Definition of satellite 

1 : a hired agent or obsequious follower : minion, sycophant

2a : 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

3 : someone or something attendant, subordinate, or dependent especially : a country politically and economically dominated or controlled by another more powerful country

4 : a usually independent urban community situated near but not immediately adjacent to a large city

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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

Her work involves monitoring changes in the Arctic through satellite data, measuring how quickly sea ice is disappearing (and why), and investigating what the impacts are for the surrounding areas and the planet. Hans Aschim, Harper's BAZAAR, "Three Women in Science Who Broke the Glass Ceiling," 5 Oct. 2018 The stereo gaming mode adds punchiness to the satellites, interacting with the subwoofer to dial up and equalize game effects (like player footsteps or explosions). Stefan Etienne, The Verge, "Razer Nommo Pro speakers review: versatility comes at a price," 27 Sep. 2018 The entire Space Force concept is a reaction to new threats to America's satellites and other assets in orbit. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "Here Comes the Space Force: Mike Pence Outlines Steps To Create 6th Branch of the Military," 9 Aug. 2018 Dolores beamed the virtual world to a satellite so humans can never find and destroy the hosts' paradise. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "All the Questions We Have After the 'Westworld' Finale," 25 June 2018 Ice sheets in Greenland and West Antarctica have also have shriveled, melting about 455 billion tons of ice into water, according to the NASA satellite. Washington Post, "Global warming cooks up ‘a different world’ over 3 decades," 18 June 2018 Bits and pieces of this future are taking shape throughout Southern California, from experimental rocket sites in the desert and precision machine shops in Los Angeles to satellites launched from the coast. Geoff Manaugh, The Atlantic, "Los Angeles, America’s Future Spaceport," 17 May 2018 From astronaut capsules to weather-monitoring satellites to military aircraft, the company specializes in moving beefy, sensitive objects around securely. Sarah Scoles, WIRED, "This Trucking Company Keeps Spacecraft Safe on the Interstate," 2 May 2018 There are more than 22,000 objects larger than 4 inches that could potentially pose a threat to our satellites or spacecraft. Brian Resnick, Vox, "Chinese space station Tiangong-1 has returned to Earth, crashing into the South Pacific," 2 Apr. 2018

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 1548, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for satellite

Middle French, from Latin satellit-, satelles attendant

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Statistics for satellite

Last Updated

13 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for satellite

The first known use of satellite was circa 1548

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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 \

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 \

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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Comments on satellite

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by force of circumstances

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