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 Recent satellite images show China is quickly building out its shipbuilding capacity, Murphy said. Stephen Singer,, "Electric Boat and its allies in Congress celebrate the Navy’s next-generation Columbia submarine, a boon to Connecticut’s manufacturing sector and economy," 6 Nov. 2020 For this mission, the rocket will carry a classified national security satellite, known as NROL-101, that was built by and for the U.S. National Reconnaissance Office. Caroline Glenn,, "ULA rocket launch tonight from Cape Canaveral should set off a light show," 4 Nov. 2020 However, satellite images show there are runways, ports, aircraft hangars, radar and sensor equipment, and military buildings on these manmade islands. Helen Raleigh, National Review, "Why Beijing Hopes for a Biden Win," 2 Nov. 2020 Michael Loso, a geologist with the National Park Service, says satellite images taken just before and after the August event were key to solving it. Matt Miller, Anchorage Daily News, "Mother of all jökulhlaups reported by commercial fisherman in Southeast Alaska," 30 Oct. 2020 To extrapolate the villages’ locations from the finds, van Popta inputted soil profiles, historical maps, elevation maps and satellite images into a spatial analysis computer program. Isis Davis-marks, Smithsonian Magazine, "Dutch Archaeologist Discovers Traces of Four Submerged Medieval Settlements," 30 Oct. 2020 Guató leaders in an Indigenous territory called Baía dos Guató said the fires spread from the ranches that surround their land, and satellite images confirm that the flames swept in from the outside. Scott Reinhard, New York Times, "The World’s Largest Tropical Wetland Has Become an Inferno," 13 Oct. 2020 The analysis, of satellite images dating to 1979, shows that warming has increased the likelihood of a hurricane developing into a major one of Category 3 or higher, with sustained winds greater than 110 miles an hour, by about 8 percent a decade. Paul Douglas, Star Tribune, "Reality Check: First Freeze and Possible Flakes by Late Week," 12 Oct. 2020 Recent satellite images showed thousands of troops assembling in formation along with vehicles in an apparent rehearsal at an airfield on the outskirts of Pyongyang, where the North Koreans have practiced past parades. Fox News, "North Korea may show new missiles at weekend military parade," 8 Oct. 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

16 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Satellite.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Nov. 2020.

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More Definitions for satellite


How to pronounce satellite (audio)

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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