Earthward adv.

toward the planet Earth

  • 1898 H. G. Wells The War of the Worlds I. i. 10 page image H. G. Wells bibliography

    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.

  • 1934 D. Wandrei Colossus in Before Golden Age 468 Donald Wandrei

    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.

  • 1945 ‘T. Herrick’ Lost World in Planet Comics Nov. 1

    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.

  • 1947 ‘M. Leinster’ Skit-Tree Planet in Thrilling Wonder Stories April 49/2 Murray Leinster

    The Galloping Cow, in fact, exactly fitted her name by her outward appearance, as she galloped Earthward through emptiness.

  • 1947 J. Williamson Equalizer in Astounding Science Fiction Mar. 6/1 Jack Williamson

    Interstellar Task Force One was Earthward bound, from twenty years at space.

  • 1969 R. C. Meredith We All Died At Breakaway Station in Amazing Stories Mar. 85/2 page image Richard C. Meredith bibliography

    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.

  • 1975 J. Williamson Salvage in Space in Early Williamson 155 Jack Williamson

    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.

  • 2015 S. Williams Hollowgirl lviii. 448 page image Sean Williams bibliography

    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.


Research requirements

antedating 1898

Earliest cite

H. G. Wells, "War of the Worlds"

Research History
Katrina Campbell submitted a cite from a 1985 reprint of Richard C. Meredith's 1969 "We All Died at Breakaway Station" which Mike Christie verified in its first publication.
Fred Galvin submitted a 1945 cite from "Thornecliffe Herrick" in Planet Comics.
Fred Galvin submitted a 1974 cite from a reprint of Donald Wandrei's 1934 "Colossus": we would like to verify this in its original publication in Astounding Stories, January 1934
Fred Galvin submitted a 1947 cite from Murray Leinster's "Skit-Tree Planet".
Fred Galvin submitted a 1946 cite from Bernard I. Kahn's "For the Public".
Fred Galvin submitted a 1947 cite from Jack Williamson's "The Equalizer".
Fred Galvin submitted a cite from a 1950 reprint of E. E. Smith's "Galactic Patrol", which first appeared in 1937-1938; Mike Christie checked the first publication and found that the term does not occur there.
Fred Galvin submitted a 1975 cite from a reprint of Jack Williamson's 1933 "Salvage in Space"; we would like to verify this in the story's first appearance in the March 1933 Astounding Stories.
Fred Galvin submitted a 1939 cite for "earthwards" from "Valley of Pretenders", by Dennis Clive (a pseudonym of John Russell Fearn).
Ben Ostrowsky submitted a cite from H. G. Wells's "War of the Worlds".
Ben Ostrowsky submitted a 2015 cite from Sean Williams.

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.