viewport n.

a (typically small and reinforced) window in a vehicle or structure designed to operate in space

Now also used as a standard (non-SF) term, esp. in reference to vehicles or structures that operate underwater.

  • 1935 N. Schachner Ultimate Metal in Astounding Stories Feb. 98/1 page image Nat Schachner

    Dean moved half consciously to the view-porte [sic] that was tilted at an angle to bring into focus the panorama of the streets.

  • 1945 ‘W. Long’ Nomad in Astounding Science Fiction Jan. 95/1 George O. Smith

    If we have ten million men that never see Mephisto from anything but the viewports of the transports, we'll be better off than if we were blasted to every last man for not having enough of them.

  • 1945 A. B. Chandler Golden Journey in Astounding Science Fiction June 176/1 A. Bertram Chandler

    He saw something flicker past the control viewports, something like a little ship, with a fiery tail, going the same way on a roughly parallel orbit.

  • 1952 C. Oliver First to Stars in W. F. Nolan Edge of Forever (1971) 242 Chad Oliver

    But more wonderful still was the soft, steady light from the myriad of stars that were suspended in the black velvet of the viewports.

  • 1955 T. Sturgeon in Galaxy Science Fiction Mar. 100/1 Theodore Sturgeon

    You just don’t look through viewports very often.

  • 1966 S. Delany Babel-17 iii. iv. 155 Samuel R. Delany bibliography

    Fog closed over the view-port.

  • 1983 B. Sterling & W. Gibson Red Star, Winter Orbit in B. Sterling Mirrorshades (1986) 210 William Gibson Bruce Sterling

    The viewports…were always the first to go.

  • 1984 W. Gibson Neuromancer (1989) iv.xiv. 173 William Gibson

    The bright marbles of its eyes were cut from the synthetic ruby viewport of the ship that brought the first Tessier up the well.

  • 1986 D. Carey Battlestations! x.206, Diane Carey

    I made it to the viewport at the same time.

  • 1991 C. S. Friedman Black Sun Rising xl. 400

    What rose up…betrayed no hint of doorway, viewport, or any structural joining.

  • 1993 Science Fiction Age Jan. 43/1

    Devon moved forward to the control seat, adjusted their position to the Wanderer’s, and degridded back into spaceplus. Both of them rushed over to the viewport.

  • 2005 C. Stross Accelerando iv. 119 Charles Stross

    The animated purple dinosaur pirouettes and prances in the middle of her viewport, throwing a diamond-tipped swizzle stick overhead.

  • 2006 J. McDevitt Odyssey xviii. 154 Jack McDevitt

    As soon as the jump was complete, they all crowded onto the bridge to look out through the viewport. Nobody was happier than MacAllister to see the mists go away. The transdimensional fogscape reminded him that the real world was far stranger than anything humans had dreamed up, with its quantum effects, time running at different rates depending on whether you’re standing on the roof or in the basement, objects that aren’t there unless someone looks at them.


Research requirements

antedating 1935

Earliest cite

Nat Schachner, in Astounding Stories

Research History
Jeff Prucher identified an earlier printing of the existing 1957 OED citation from Theodore Sturgeon's "Who?", and Mike Christie verified it in the original magazine version.
Mike Christie submitted a June 1945 cite from A. Bertram Chandler's "The Golden Journey".
Mike Christie submitted a January 1945 cite from Wesley Long's "Nomad".
Fred Galvin submitted a 1942 cite from "The Key to the Dark Planet" by "Martin Pearson" (pseudonym of Donald A. Wollheim)
Jesse Sheidlower submitted a 1935 cite from Astounding Stories

Earliest cite in OED2: 1957; later updated to 1942 for OED Online.

Last modified 2020-12-16 04:08:47
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.