in the fictional universe of the Star Trek franchise: a species of small, furry, featureless alien
[coined by David Gerrold, author of the Star Trek episode The Trouble with Tribbles]
[Uhura] Oh, it’s adorable. What is it? [Jones] What is it? Why, lovely lady, it’s a tribble…. Only the sweetest creature known to man, excepting, of course, your lovely self. [Uhura] Oh, it’s purring. Listen, it’s purring.
Trouble with Tribbles (Star Trek episode) (transcription)
The Tribbles were small furry creatures about five inches in diameter.
in S. E. Whitfield & G. Roddenberry Making of ‘Star Trek’ iii. 345
Spock, who couldn’t hold a tribble or a cat without petting it.
Price of Phoenix (1985) i. 4
What exactly are you keeping in there now? Denebian slime devils? a mugatu? Tribbles?
From Depths iii. 43
At least it’s not a tribble, he thought.
Assignment: Eternity ii. 21
She leaned forward, focusing her attention on a young man with a thick wad of unruly black hair that looked like he’d rolled over on a tribble in his sleep.
Gaudeamus (2014) xxii. 302
The tribble. The only one on board. It was, impossibly, alive. It ought not to be. But it most certainly was, which suggested that... which meant that... His eyes widened.
Into Darkness xvii. 298
Research HistoryBen Ostrowsky submitted a 2004 cite from John Barnes.
Ben Ostrowsky submitted a 2013 cite from Alan Dean Foster.
Last modified 2021-12-06 20:36:49
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.