[ sat-l-ahyt ]
See synonyms for satellite on
  1. Astronomy. a natural body that revolves around a planet; a moon.

  2. a country under the domination or influence of another.

  1. something, as a branch office or an off-campus facility of a university, that depends on, accompanies, or serves something else.

  2. an attendant or follower of another person, often subservient or obsequious in manner.

  3. a device designed to be launched into orbit around the earth, another planet, the sun, etc.

  1. of, relating to, or constituting a satellite: the nation's new satellite program.

  2. using an earth-orbiting satellite to transmit communications signals; transmitted or broadcast by satellite: satellite radio and TV.

  1. subordinate to another authority, outside power, or the like: summoned to a conference of satellite nations.

Origin of satellite

1540–50; 1955–60 for def. 2; <Latin satellit- (stem of satelles) attendant, member of bodyguard or retinue

Other words for satellite

Other words from satellite

  • sat·el·lit·ed, adjective

Words Nearby satellite Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use satellite in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for satellite


/ (ˈsætəˌlaɪt) /

  1. a celestial body orbiting around a planet or star: the earth is a satellite of the sun

  2. Also called: artificial satellite a man-made device orbiting around the earth, moon, or another planet transmitting to earth scientific information or used for communication: See also communications satellite

  1. a person, esp one who is obsequious, who follows or serves another

  2. a country or political unit under the domination of a foreign power

  3. a subordinate area or community that is dependent upon a larger adjacent town or city

  4. (modifier) subordinate to or dependent upon another: a satellite nation

  5. (modifier) of, used in, or relating to the transmission of television signals from a satellite to the house: a satellite dish aerial

  1. (tr) to transmit by communications satellite

Origin of satellite

C16: from Latin satelles an attendant, probably of Etruscan origin

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

Scientific definitions for satellite


[ sătl-īt′ ]

  1. A small body in orbit around a larger body. See Note at moon.

  2. An object launched to orbit Earth or another celestial body. Satellites are used for research, communications, weather information, and navigation. The first artificial Earth satellite was Sputnik 1, launched by the Soviet Union in October 1957; the first successful American satellite was launched in January 1958.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Cultural definitions for satellite (1 of 3)


In politics, a nation that is dominated politically by another. The Warsaw Pact nations, other than the former Soviet Union itself, were commonly called satellites of the Soviet Union.


In astronomy, an object, whether natural (such as the moon) or artificial (such as a weather observation satellite), that revolves around a central body. (See under “World Politics.”)


Any object in orbit about some body capable of exerting a gravitational (see gravitation) force. Artificial satellites in orbit around the Earth have many uses, including relaying communication signals, making accurate surveys and inventories of the Earth's surface and weather patterns, and carrying out scientific experiments.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.