space fleet n.

an organized group of spaceships, esp. one under military control

  • 1930 L. H. Morrow Through the Meteors in Air Wonder Stories Apr. 886/2 page image Lowell Howard Morrow bibliography

    At last the great space fleet was ready. The momentous word was passed from lip to lip and then radioed around the world. Halpin and I made a personal inspection of the great vessels to make sure that nothing was left undone to insure the success of our coming adventure. Although the ships had been hastily constructed, each was staunchly built, and each was an exact duplicate of the Space King in size and equipment.

  • 1931 P. Nowlan Buck Rogers in Oakland (California) Tribune (Comics) 3 May 1

    The electronographs and television show a strange space fleet flashing toward Venus in battle formation!!

  • 1934 E. E. Smith Skylark of Valeron in Astounding Stories Sept. 38/2 Edward E. Smith

    Even more clearly than as if he himself had seen them all happen, DuQuesne beheld and understood Seaton’s visit to Norlamin, the story of the Fenachrone peril, the building of the fifth-order projector, the demolition of Fenor’s space fleet, the revenge-purposed flight of Ravindau the scientist, and the complete volatilization of the Fenachrone planet.

  • 1939 E. E. Smith Robot Nemesis in Thrilling Wonder Stories June 74/1 page image Edward E. Smith bibliography

    You all know of the mighty space-fleet which the nations of our enemies are maintaining to repel invasion from space.

  • 1940 J. Williamson Hindsight in Astounding Science-Fiction May 104/1 page image Jack Williamson bibliography

    Millions of Earthmen have labored for years to prepare for this rebellion. Earth has built a space fleet.

  • 1942 I. Asimov Black Friar of the Flame in Planet Stories Spring page image Isaac Asimov bibliography

    Against this oldest of all naval tactics—old even in the dim dawn of history when rival triremes had maneuvered and rammed each other to destruction with pointed prows—the super-modern equipment of a space-fleet has no defense.

  • 1958 R. Silverberg Invaders from Earth (1987) xix. 176 Robert Silverberg

    The Extraterrestrial Development and Exploration Corporation has…become virtually a supranational state, with lands of its own, police of its own, now a spacefleet of its own.

  • 1983 R. Sheckley Dramocles (1984) 123 Robert Sheckley bibliography

    Two spacefleets were coming together in the immensity of space.

  • 1984 K. S. Robinson Icehenge (1990) 57 Kim Stanley Robinson bibliography

    The entire Soviet space fleet rebelled and pearl-harbored the rest of the Committee’s spaceships, with devastating success.

  • 2013 Starburst Dec. 73/2 page image

    [He] finds himself in the Command School and potentially in charge of the entire space fleet.

Research requirements

antedating 1930

Earliest cite

Lowell Howard Morrow, in Air Wonder Stories

Research History
Fred Galvin submitted a cite from a 1952 reprint of Jack Williamson's "Hindsight"; Mike Christie verified it in its 1940 first publication.
Fred Galvin submitted a cite for "space-fleet" from a 1950 reprint of Edward E. Smith's "Robot Nemesis"; Alistair Durie verified this in its June 1939 first publication.
Fred Galvin submitted a 1942 cite for "space-fleet" from Isaac Asimov's "Black Friar of the Flame"
Fred Galvin submitted a March 1939 cite from The Machine That Thought, by William Callahan (a pseudonym of Raymond Z. Gallun)
Fred Galvin submitted a 1934 cite from E.E. "Doc" Smith's "The Skylark of Valeron".
Fred Galvin submitted a 1930 cite from Lowell Howard Morrow.

Earliest cite in the OED2: 1944; updated to 1931 for OED3.

Last modified 2022-03-07 05:15:20
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.