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

The division that holds DirecTV shed more than 850,000 satellite-TV subscribers this year, hurting its profitability despite growth in home broadband users. Drew Fitzgerald, WSJ, "AT&T Plans 3-Tiered WarnerMedia Streaming Service to Take On Netflix," 29 Nov. 2018 To date, the aerospace company has launched only two satellites of potentially thousands. Amy Thompson, WIRED, "The Air Force Is Already Betting on SpaceX's Brand-New Falcon Heavy," 5 July 2018 Theo Wargo/Getty Images For The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame SiriusXM, the satellite radio company, is taking over the rest of Pandora, the internet radio company, in an all-stock deal valued at $3.5 billion. Dan Frommer, Recode, "SiriusXM is taking over Pandora in a $3.5 billion deal that’s more necessity than convenience," 24 Sep. 2018 Beyond the wireless alerts, a test alert will also go out via radio and television broadcast, cable systems, satellite radio, television providers, and wireline video. Emily Stewart, Vox, "FEMA’s testing a new “presidential alerts” system that sends messages to your phone," 15 Sep. 2018 Now local startups increasingly are opening satellite operations in cheaper markets _ no longer expecting all their employees to congregate in one Silicon Valley office for work, free food and ping-pong. Tribune News Service,, "'The Bay Area is broken': startups look to Portland, Boise," 15 Apr. 2018 The findings, based on satellite imagery and on-the-ground verification, track with those of a White House report earlier this year. Cesar Garcia, Fox News, "UN says Colombia's coca production surges to record high," 19 Sep. 2018 There were 22 fires in total, based on ground inspections and satellite imagery collected by investigators. Kaylen Ralph, Teen Vogue, "22 Wildfires in Greece Have Killed 91 People and Injured 200 More," 30 July 2018 North Korea has not tested missiles since November 2017, but experts say and satellite imagery indicates that its nuclear research efforts have not ceased. Salvador Rizzo, Washington Post, "Anatomy of a Trump rally: 76 percent of claims are false, misleading or lacking evidence," 10 July 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

9 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for satellite

The first known use of satellite was circa 1548

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on satellite

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with satellite

Spanish Central: Translation of satellite

Nglish: Translation of satellite for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of satellite for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about satellite

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