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

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

This is possible because of undersea cables and satellite communications. Angela Chen, The Verge, "A retired Navy captain explains how drones will shape the future of war," 5 Dec. 2018 Anti-stall system triggered Peter Lemme, a former Boeing flight-controls engineer who is now an avionics and satellite-communications consultant, analyzed the graphs minute by minute. Dominic Gates, The Seattle Times, "Lion Air pilots struggled against Boeing’s 737 MAX flight-control system, black-box data shows," 27 Nov. 2018 The High Performance Data Mining Lab, a research unit of the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, created algorithms for satellite-communications technologies using Nvidia’s Tesla chips and its CUDA system. Wenxin Fan, WSJ, "A Silicon Valley Tech Leader Walks a High Wire Between the U.S. and China," 19 Nov. 2018 Crews also have installed satellite communication systems in several hospitals and all of Puerto Rico's 78 municipalities, and placed nearly half of 500 miles worth of optic fiber underground, Rossello said. Danica Coto, Fox News, "Puerto Rico unveils new emergency preparations after Maria," 12 Sep. 2018 Officials with Know 2 Solutions, which connects aircraft from all over the world through satellite communications hardware and services, expect the company to move into a 28,000-square-foot facility at Kissimmee Gateway Airport next year. Marco Santana,, "Kissimmee lands 1st aerospace firm under new incentives program," 6 June 2018 Satellite operator Iridium's nearly decade-long effort to build a constellation of internet-beaming satellites, one that would foster better broadband and mobile connectivity on Earth, has finally reached its culmination. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "SpaceX Launches Final Batch of Internet-Beaming Satellites for Iridium," 11 Jan. 2019 The deal puts Blue Origin in sniffing distance of valuable Pentagon contracts — United Launch Alliance has taken a majority of US military and spy satellites into orbit over the past decade, according to the Wall Street Journal. Nicolas Vega, Fox News, "Jeff Bezos' space company set to launch," 28 Sep. 2018 The founders of Planet [a developer of small, Earth-imaging satellites] were all working together at NASA. Polina Marinova, Fortune, "This VC Always Asks Three Questions Before Investing in a Moonshot Project," 20 June 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about satellite

Share satellite

Statistics for satellite

Last Updated

20 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for satellite

The first known use of satellite was circa 1548

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Comments on satellite

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


grandiloquent, ostentatious, or bombastic

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Original Meanings Quiz

  • rembrandt-painting-a-young-scholar-and-his-tutor
  • Which of the following is the earliest known sense of the word awe?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!


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!