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See more synonyms for orbiter on Thesaurus.com
noun U.S. Aerospace.
  1. Also called space shuttle orbiter. the crew- and payload-carrying component of the space shuttle.
  2. a space probe designed to orbit a planetary body or moon.
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Compare lander.

Origin of orbiter

An Americanism dating back to 1950–55; orbit + -er1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

shuttle, orbiter

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British Dictionary definitions for orbiter


  1. a spacecraft or satellite designed to orbit a planet or other body without landing on itCompare lander
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Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for orbiter


agent noun from orbit (v.).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper