satellite

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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    examples:
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    Deimos
    the outer of two small satellites of Mars
    Moon
    the natural satellite of the Earth
    Phobos
    the larger of the two satellites of Mars
    Titan
    the largest of the satellites of Saturn; has a hazy nitrogen atmosphere
    Callisto
    the second largest of Jupiter's satellites
    Europa
    the 4th largest of Jupiter's satellites; covered with a smooth shell of frozen water
    Ganymede
    the largest of Jupiter's satellites
    Io
    the closest of Jupiter's moons; has active volcanoes
    Triton
    the largest moon of Neptune
    types:
    Galilean, Galilean satellite
    one of the four satellites of Jupiter that were discovered by Galileo
    moon
    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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    examples:
    Salyut
    either of two Soviet space stations launched in the 1970s
    Skylab
    United States space station; in orbit from 1973 to 1979
    types:
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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
    sputnik
    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
    lander
    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:
    equipment
    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”
    Synonyms:
    outer
    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:
    follower
    a person who accepts the leadership of another
Word Family