Student Dictionary

2 entries found for satellite.
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Main Entry: sat·el·lite
Pronunciation: primarystresssat-schwal-secondarystressimacrt
Function: noun
Etymology: from early French satellite "a person who follows or escorts someone of importance," from Latin satellit-, satelles "escort, attendant"
1 : a follower resembling a slave
2 a : a heavenly body orbiting another of larger size b : a man-made object or vehicle intended to orbit the earth, the moon, or another heavenly body
3 : a country controlled by a more powerful country
- satellite adjective
Word History Although it is now closely connected with the modern world of space exploration, satellite is actually a very old word. Its origin can be traced to the Latin word satelles, meaning "one who escorts or follows after an important person." This is also the original meaning of satellite in English. Because such heavenly bodies as the moon can be thought of as "escorts" of the planets they orbit, they also became known as satellites. The satellites of modern times made by humans got their name because they, like the moon, orbit the earth.

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