[ spoot-nik, spuht-; Russian spoot-nyik ]
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  1. (sometimes initial capital letter) any of a series of Soviet earth-orbiting satellites: Sputnik I was the world's first space satellite.

Origin of sputnik

1957; <Russian spútnik satellite, traveling companion, equivalent to s- together, with + put’ way, route + -nik agent suffix (cf. -nik)

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British Dictionary definitions for Sputnik


/ (ˈspʊtnɪk, ˈspʌt-) /

  1. any of a series of unmanned Soviet satellites, Sputnik 1 (launched in 1957) being the first man-made satellite to orbit the earth

Origin of Sputnik

C20: from Russian, literally: fellow traveller, from s- with + put path + -nik suffix indicating agent

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