spacefaring adj.

that travels, or is able to travel, in space; that is used during or pertains to space travel

  • 1942 ‘D. Farnsworth’ Suicide Ship to Earth in Amazing Stories Feb. 181/2 page image David Wright O'Brien

    If it weren’t for his childish desire to play spacefaring financier, he'd never have put a kleka in with us.

  • 1942 D. W. O'Brien Creegar Dares to Die in Fantastic Adventures Aug. 117/1 page image David Wright O'Brien bibliography

    The seedy litle [sic] man in spacefaring garb of soiled raggedness nudged him.

  • 1952 A. B. Chandler Frontier of Dark in Astounding Science Fiction Sept. 133/1 page image A. Bertram Chandler bibliography

    She’s a better ship than any of the spacefaring boudoirs that are turned out by your yards!

  • 1953 P. J. Farmer Strange Compulsion in Science Fiction Plus Oct. 60/1 Philip José Farmer

    Once the quarantine had been clamped down and all the space-faring Remohs located and examined, Gaulers went to work.

  • 1957 R. A. Heinlein in Astounding Science Fiction Nov. 90/2 Robert A. Heinlein

    The Finstera are not a spacefaring people; there was no possibility that the bogie would be identified as theirs.

  • 1970 J. Haldeman Time Piece in Worlds of If July–Aug. 46/1 page image Joe Haldeman

    Strange for a spacefaring, aggressive race to be so uncurious about planetary environments.

  • 1979 A. C. Clarke Fountains of Paradise 80 Arthur C. Clarke

    During the millennia since they had launched Starglider, their spacefaring ability must have improved enormously.

  • 1988 A. C. Clarke 2061: Odyssey Three 32 Arthur C. Clarke

    The narrator did not gloat unduly over the consternation of the other spacefaring powers, when a presumed Chinese space station suddenly blasted out of orbit and headed for Jupiter.

  • 1991 O. S. Card Xenocide viii. 109 Orson Scott Card

    Had she thought he would stride off the shuttle as strong and bold as a spacefaring god from some romance?

  • 1994 I. McDonald Necroville (1995) 240 Ian McDonald

    The driver’s radio in the dukduk that had brought them here had gabbled about the Freedead fleet breaking up the orbital factories and spinning them into some enormous spacefaring construction.

  • 1998 Interzone Sept. 15/1

    He did not dislike the other spacefaring species; he found them interesting.

  • 2000 A. Reynolds Revelation Space xii. 201 Alastair Reynolds bibliography

    But eventually—two or three billion years after life had first arisen on their homeworlds—some of these cultures had become spacefaring.

  • 2005 I. M. Banks Algebraist v. 368 Iain M. Banks

    Because if all this was real then he was, maybe, on the brink of the most astounding discovery in all human history, a revelation that could do untold harm or bring inestimable benefits to any combination of the Mercatoria, its adversaries and just about every other space-faring species in the galaxy.


Research requirements

antedating 1942

Earliest cite

David Wright O'Brien

Research History
Mike Christie submitted a cite from a 1978 reprint of Robert Heinlein's "Citizen of the Galaxy".
James A. Landau verified the cite in the 1957 first edition.
Fred Galvin submitted a cite from a reprint of Philip Jose Farmer's "Strange Compulsion"; Rick Hauptmann verified the cite in the 1953 first magazine appearance.
Fred Galvin submitted a 1952 cite from A. Bertram Chandler's "Frontier of the Dark."
Jesse Sheidlower submitted 1942 cites from David Wright O'Brien.

Earliest cite in the OED: 1962.

Last modified 2021-01-05 19:50:14
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.