communicator n.

a device used for communication, esp. a small personal device used for voice communication


  • 1905 R. Kipling With the Night Mail in McClure’s Magazine Nov. 28/2 page image Rudyard Kipling bibliography

    He leans forward in his belt, eyes glued to the colloid, and one ear cocked toward the General Communicator. [Ibid. 30/1] The only warning is the electric skin-tension…and an irritability which the gibbering of the General Communicator increases almost to hysteria.

  • 1912 R. Kipling Easy as A.B.C. in Washington Post 25 Feb. (Family Magazine section) 4/1 Rudyard Kipling bibliography

    Our calls—urgent, pleading, coaxing or commanding—through the General Communicator, brought no answer. [Ibid. 5/2] In the utter hush that followed the growling spark, after Arnott had linked up his Service Communicator with the invisible fleet, we heard MacDonough’s Song from the city beneath us grow fainter.

  • 1934 E. E. Smith Skylark of Valeron in Astounding Stories Aug. 17/1 page image Edward E. Smith bibliography

    The flying vessel had gone through the zone of feeble radiations which comprised the outer detector screen of the Fenachrone. But, though tenuous, that screen was highly efficient, and at its touch there burst into frenzied activity the communicator built by the captive to be actuated by that very impulse. It had been built during the long flight through space, and its builder had thought that its presence would be unnoticed and would remain unsuspected by the Terrestrials.

  • 1934 E. E. Smith Skylark of Valeron in Astounding Stories Aug. 29/2 page image Edward E. Smith bibliography

    ‘Observation Officer of the Z12Q, attention!’ snapped from the tight-beam headquarters communicator. ‘Cut off those spy rays and report yourself under arrest for treason!’

  • 1939 E. E. Smith Gray Lensman in Astounding Science-Fiction Oct. 26/2 page image Edward E. Smith bibliography

    I never could see how you deep-space men can really understand what you’re doing—either the frightful speeds at which you travel, the distance you cover, or the way your communicators work.

  • 1943 A. E. van Vogt Concealment in Astounding Science-Fiction Sept. 89/1 page image A. E. van Vogt bibliography

    Decisively, she clicked off the intership communicator, made an adjustment and stepped through a transmitter into the receiving room half a mile distant.

  • 1946 A. C. Clarke Rescue Party in Astounding Science-Fiction May 53/2 page image Arthur C. Clarke bibliography

    They had no time to ask any further questions before Alveron himself began to speak through their communicators.

  • 1947 ‘M. Leinster’ Skit-Tree Planet in Thrilling Wonder Stories Apr. 42/1 page image Murray Leinster bibliography

    He grinned at the profanity that came out of the communicator-speaker. Then—back at the irreverently nicknamed Galloping Cow which was the base ship of the Extra-Solarian Research Institute expedition to this star-cluster—McRae cut off.

  • 1948 A. E. van Vogt Monster in Astounding Science-Fiction Aug. 58/1 page image A. E. van Vogt bibliography

    They have now adapted our universal speech machine, so that anyone who wishes to need only speak into his communicator, and so will have his words translated into the language of the revived person.

  • 1956 R. A. Heinlein Double Star in Astounding Science Fiction Feb. ii. 29/1 page image Robert A. Heinlein bibliography

    Dak was busy most of the time at the ship’s communicator, apparently talking on a very tight beam for his hands constantly nursed the directional control like a gunner laying a gun under difficulties.

  • 1964 G. Roddenberry The Cage (pilot story outline, first draft, 29 June) in S. E. Whitfield & G. Roddenberry Making of ‘Star Trek’ (1968) i. iv. 60 Gene Roddenberry bibliography

    Aboard the Enterprise, all controls on the transporter have gone dead. Their scanners, communicators, all contact with the planet has been lost.

  • 1980 D. Brin Sundiver iv.xii. 131 David Brin bibliography

    By the elevators Kepler spoke briefly into a wall communicator.

  • 1985 B. Hambly Ishmael i.19 Barbara Hambly bibliography

    After a final, cautious communicator scan of the base, he returned to the ship himself.

  • 1998 W. Shatner et al. Spectre i. 16 bibliography

    And he doesn’t got a replicator…No tricorder. No communicator.

  • 2017 D. A. Goodman Autobiography of Jean-Luc Picard v. 109 David A. Goodman bibliography

    Stargazer to Picard,’ came Walker’s voice over my communicator.

Research requirements

antedating 1905

Earliest cite

Rudyard Kipling

Research History
Fred Galvin submitted a 1997 cite from a reprint of Donald A. Wollheim's 1953 "Asteroid 745: Mauritia" (written as Martin Pearson).
Fred Galvin submitted a 1943 cite from A. E. van Vogt's "Concealment".
Fred Galvin submitted a 1946 cite from Arthur C. Clarke's "Rescue Party".
Fred Galvin submitted a cite from a 1950 reprint of E. E. Smith's 1937 "Galactic Patrol"; Mike Christie verified the original magazine appearance.
Fred Galvin submitted a 1961 cite from Fred Saberhagen's "Planeteer".
Fred Galvin submitted a 1949 cite from William Morrison's "Free Land".
Fred Galvin submitted a cite from a 1957 reprint of Robert A. Heinlein's 1956 "Double Star".
Fred Galvin submitted a 1947 cite from Murray Leinster's "Skit-Tree Planet".
Fred Galvin submitted a cite from a 1960s Ace reprint of Neil R. Jones's "Space War"; we do not need to verify this in its original publication (Amazing Stories, July 1935), as we have sufficient additional evidence at this time.
Fred Galvin submitted cites from a 1984 reprint of E.E. "Doc" Smith's "Skylark of Valeron" (originally serialized in Astounding Stories, August 1934 to February 1935), and Mike Christie verified them in the originals.
Ben Ostrowsky submitted a 2017 cite from a novel in the Star Trek universe.
Clive Shergold submitted two quotations from Rudyard Kipling's Aerial Board of Control stories; Jesse Sheidlower verified them in the original sources. (The original magazine version of "With the Night Mail" was heavily revised for its later publications, but does still contain the word.)

Last modified 2023-10-31 19:04:31
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.