robo- prefix

(used to form nouns with the sense ‘a robotic or automatic ——’)


  • 1945 A. E. van Vogt World of Null-A in Astounding Science Fiction Oct. 83/1 page image A. E. van Vogt bibliography

    Sensitive detectors must be probing the skies, to make sure no roboplanes or other solar craft were passing overhead.

  • 1949 P. Anderson Double-Dyed Villains in Astounding Science Fiction Sept. 27/1 Poul Anderson

    Even if that population were completely uniform, the sheer complexity of administrative detail is inconceivable—why, if all government services from legislators to postmen added up to only one percent of the total, and no government has ever been that efficient, that would be some ten to the thirteenth individual beings in government! Robocomputers help some, but not much.

  • 1953 J. Gibson Dugal Was a Spaceman in Science Fiction Quarterly Feb. 43/2 page image Joe Gibson bibliography

    He crawled into a cupshaped robo-taxi and let the plex dome clamp down over the seat.

  • 1979 J. P. Hogan Two Faces of Tomorrow 8 James P. Hogan

    There'll probably only be robodiggers or something on it, but maybe we ought to hang around to check it out.

  • 1984 S. Elgin Native Tongue i. 19 Suzette Haden Elgin bibliography

    There’s a robobus due by in about fifteen minutes, that stops at the hospital.

  • 1990 E. Dorn Abhorrences 172

    The recruits are as still as mice with an extra gene, transfixed in the glare of a robocat.

  • 2021 N. Okorafor Remote Control vii. 85 Nnedi Okorafor bibliography

    The robocop turned to her as she stood there. It was probably scanning her for any kind of tech so that it could digitally send her a ‘Welcome to RoboTown’ message.

Research requirements

antedating 1945

Earliest cite

A.E. van Vogt, "World of Null-A"

Research History
Jeff Prucher submitted a 2003 cite from a reprint of Michael Swanwick's 2002 "Slow Life" for the form "robofish".
Irene Grumman submitted a 2002 cite from a reprint of Nancy Kress' 2000 "Probability Moon" for the form "robomeds".
Fred Galvin submitted a 1953 cite from Roger Dee's "The Minister Had to Wait" for the form "robojet".
Fred Galvin submitted a 1956 cite from Stanley Mullen's "The Lair of the Phoenix" for "robotruck".
Fred Galvin submitted a cite for "robocomputer" from a 1951 reprint of Poul Anderson's "The Double-Dyed Villains"; Mike Christie verified the cite in the 1949 original.
Fred Galvin submitted a 1963 cite for "robovalet" from Michael Girsdansky's "Science and Science Fiction: Who Borrows What?"
Mike Christie submitted a 1945 cite for "roboplane" from A.E. van Vogt's "World of Null-A".
Bill Mullins submitted a 1953 cite from Joe Gibson for "robo-taxi".

OED entry revised June 2010, with van Vogt's 1945 citation listed as the earliest.

Last modified 2021-03-18 22:05:27
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.