toward the planet Earth
And, all unsuspected, those missiles the Martians had fired at us drew earthward, rushing now at a pace of many miles a second through the empty gulf of space, hour by hour and day by day, nearer and nearer.
Almost regretfully, he sent the White Bird flying Earthward, and the crag-strewn, jagged, white ruin of the Moon’s surface fell swiftly away, paled into softer outline, until once again, like a silver disk in the sky, it floated glowing and lovely and bathed in soft radiance.
Attention earth patrol! King of Volta killed and assassins earthward flee. Stand by to search in western hemisphere for five earthlings. One Volta form bears. On his hand royal ring wears.
The Galloping Cow, in fact, exactly fitted her name by her outward appearance, as she galloped Earthward through emptiness.
Interstellar Task Force One was Earthward bound, from twenty years at space.
Call it a hunch, or call it clairvoyance, call it whatever you like, yet Absolom Bracer somehow knew that they had lasted long enough, somehow new that the single Jillie warship off Breakaway had not been enough to destroy the station, somehow knew that Admiral Mothershed’s report had reached Port Abell and was even then being beamed Earthward.
Only one legible entry did he find, that on a page torn from the book, which somehow had escaped destruction. Dated five months before, it gave the position of the vessel and her bearings—she was then just outside Jupiter’s orbit, Earthward bound—and concluded with a remark of sinister implications.
The window darkened automatically, allowing her to make out a powerful yellow beam stabbing Earthward from a point low on the southern horizon, lighting up the borehole station as though it was in a spotlight. She frowned.
H. G. Wells, "War of the Worlds"
OED3 does not distinguish the sense 'toward the ground' from 'toward the planet Earth'; there are 17th-century examples referring to Earth in contrast with Heaven, but we are not including those here.
Last modified 2021-04-13 21:44:16
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.