earthship n.

a spacecraft from or belonging to Earth

The OED also has an earlier sense, ‘The earth, regarded figuratively as a ship travelling through the heavens, space, etc.’, with an unclear example from 1806 and then quotations from 1874 onwards.


  • 1933 Syracuse (N.Y.) Herald 27 Mar. 14/5

    Martian spaceguard…calling guardship, 27, sub-cosmic-directional radio-finder shows earth ship approaching your position at unbelievable speed!

  • 1960 Jrnl. Water Pollution Control Federation Apr. 339/1

    The Martians would probably not be very impressed if the first Earthship arrives in a cloud of refuse.

  • 1992 H. Collins Mutagenesis 337

    Mattie says when the earthship leaves they will have better places, away from Eastcountry.

  • 1994 Interzone Oct. 40/3

    Zoom in again to show the Earthship actually docking, locking on and equalizing pressures.

  • 1996 D. Brin Infinity's Shore (1997) 433 David Brin

    Until the Earthship Vesarius fell through an undetected hyperanomaly, ending humanity’s long isolation.

Research requirements

antedating 1933

Earliest cite

Syracuse (N.Y.) Herald

Research History
Added to the OED in December 2010

Last modified 2020-12-16 04:08:47
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.