A satellite is something small or less powerful that orbits around something bigger. It often describes a body in space, such as an artificial satellite that orbits the Earth and beams down signals that power devices like cell phones.

The word satellite was first used to describe a follower of someone in a superior position. The word's meaning later broadened to describe anything small that's dependent on something larger. The small satellite circles around the more powerful force, like a moon orbiting a planet. Satellite can describe a small country — a satellite country — controlled by a larger one, or a large organization that has a small office — a satellite office — in another location.

Definitions of satellite
  1. noun
    any celestial body orbiting around a planet or star
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    the outer of two small satellites of Mars
    the natural satellite of the Earth
    the larger of the two satellites of Mars
    the largest of the satellites of Saturn; has a hazy nitrogen atmosphere
    the second largest of Jupiter's satellites
    the 4th largest of Jupiter's satellites; covered with a smooth shell of frozen water
    the largest of Jupiter's satellites
    the closest of Jupiter's moons; has active volcanoes
    the largest moon of Neptune
    Galilean, Galilean satellite
    one of the four satellites of Jupiter that were discovered by Galileo
    any natural satellite of a planet
    type of:
    celestial body, heavenly body
    natural objects visible in the sky
  2. noun
    man-made equipment that orbits around the earth or the moon
    synonyms: artificial satellite, orbiter
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    either of two Soviet space stations launched in the 1970s
    United States space station; in orbit from 1973 to 1979
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    astronomy satellite
    a satellite equipped with a telescope to observe infrared radiation
    communications satellite
    an artificial satellite that relays signals back to earth; moves in a geostationary orbit
    ballistic capsule, space vehicle, spacecraft
    a craft capable of traveling in outer space; technically, a satellite around the sun
    space laboratory, space platform, space station
    a manned artificial satellite in a fixed orbit designed for scientific research
    a Russian artificial satellite
    spy satellite
    a satellite with sensors to detect nuclear explosions
    meteorological satellite, weather satellite
    a satellite that transmits frequent picture of the earth below
    a space vehicle that is designed to land on the moon or another planet
    LEM, lunar excursion module, lunar module
    a spacecraft that carries astronauts from the command module to the surface of the moon and back
    capsule, space capsule
    a spacecraft designed to transport people and support human life in outer space
    space shuttle
    a reusable spacecraft with wings for a controlled descent through the Earth's atmosphere
    spaceship, starship
    a spacecraft designed to carry a crew into interstellar space (especially in science fiction)
    type of:
    an instrumentality needed for an undertaking or to perform a service
  3. verb
    broadcast or disseminate via satellite
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    type of:
    air, beam, broadcast, send, transmit
    broadcast over the airwaves, as in radio or television
  4. adjective
    surrounding and dominated by a central authority or power
    “a city and its satellite communities”
    being on the outside or further from a center
  5. noun
    a person who follows or serves another
    synonyms: planet
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    type of:
    a person who accepts the leadership of another
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