Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Astronomy A celestial body that orbits a planet; a moon.
  • n. Aerospace An object launched to orbit Earth or another celestial body.
  • n. A nation dominated politically and economically by another nation.
  • n. An urban or suburban community located near a big city.
  • n. One who attends a powerful dignitary; a subordinate.
  • n. A subservient follower; a sycophant.
  • n. Genetics A short segment of a chromosome separated from the rest by a constriction, typically associated with the formation of a nucleolus.
  • n. Microbiology A colony of microorganisms whose growth in culture medium is enhanced by certain substances produced by another colony in its proximity.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. An attendant attached to a prince or other powerful person; hence, an obsequious dependent.
  • n. A secondary planet which revolves about another planet. See Solar system, under Solar.
  • adj. Situated near; accompanying.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A follower; particularly, a subservient or obsequious follower or attendant; a subordinate attendant.
  • n. An attendant moon; a small planet revolving round a larger one; a secondary planet.
  • n. [In the above quotation the Latin plural satellites is used instead of the English plural.]
  • n. In geometry, a straight line bearing the following relation to another straight line.
  • n. In entomology, a satellite-sphinx.
  • n.
  • n. There are thus 26 satellites of 6 planets, of which 25 have been discovered in modern times (since 1610) by 9 observers (Galileo 4, Cassini 4, W. Herschel 4, Lassell 3, Hall 2, Perrine 2, Pickering 2, others 1 each).
  • n. The point of intersection with a cubic curve of a tangent at a given point of the curve is this given point's satellite.
  • n. A vein accompanying an artery.
  • n. One of the smaller pathological formations which are associated with the primary larger one.
  • n. In gregarines, any member except the first in a chain-like association. Compare primite.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. any celestial body orbiting around a planet or star
  • adj. surrounding and dominated by a central authority or power
  • n. a person who follows or serves another
  • n. man-made equipment that orbits around the earth or the moon
  • v. broadcast or disseminate via satellite

Etymologies

French, hanger-on, hireling, from Old French, from Latin satelles, satellit-.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle French satellite, from Latin satelles ("attendant"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • However, we tend to use the word satellite to mean the man-made objects that are sent into space on a rocket to perform certain tasks, such as navigation, weather monitoring, or communication.

    George’s Cosmic Treasure Hunt

  • The term satellite is also used to describe man-made devices of any size that are launched into orbit.

    infoplease - Daily Almanac

  • North Korea made a similar claim in 1998 when it launched what it called a satellite but U.S. officials considered its Taepodong-1 missile.

    Archive 2009-04-01

  • PYONGYANG/BEIJING, March 9 (AP) - (Kyodo)—North Korea warned Monday that any move to intercept what it calls a satellite launch and what other countries suspect may be a missile test-firing would result in a counterstrike against the countries trying to stop it.

    North Korea needs a damn good kicking.

  • Fuelling the fire, North Korea's preparations for what it calls the satellite launch.

    CNN Transcript Mar 10, 2009

  • Fueling the fire, North Korea's preparations for what it called a satellite launch.

    CNN Transcript Mar 11, 2009

  • The episode adds to tensions between North Korea and the U.S. that have risen in recent weeks as the North prepares to launch what it calls a satellite-carrying rocket but that is widely believed to be a long-range missile capable of reaching the continental U.S. Leaders of the U.S.,

    North Korea Detains Two American Journalists

  • On Thursday, it announced the launch, which it characterizes as a satellite-carrying space rocket, will occur sometime from April 4 to 8.

    North Korea Halts Border Crossings

  • CARLOS WATSON, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Very much so and what is interesting is the hundreds, literally, of what they call satellite interviews on television, on radio, the thousands, millions if you will of phone calls and door knocking that is still happening today as we speak, particularly in some of those western states.

    CNN Transcript Nov 2, 2004

  • Today the launching of a satellite is almost commonplace.

    Looking Ahead

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