space suit n.

a sealed and pressurized garment designed to protect the wearer against the conditions of space; cf. earlier suit n.

  • 1929 F. M. Currier tr. H. Noordung Problems of Space Flying in Science Wonder Stories July 175/1 page image

    Normal communication by speech would be impossible. Of course, this is not true of enclosed, air-filled rooms… But it is true when one is out ‘in the open’ (in the space suit).

  • 1931 M. W. Wellman Disc-Men of Jupiter in Wonder Stories Sept. 540/1 page image Manly Wade Wellman

    In the first place the pressure is considerable and the density is greater than that of the most thoroughly water-saturated air. Then there is a whole chemistry shop full of other elements in with the oxygen and hydrogen, even including some metallic vapors. You'd need a space suit to make any kind of a successful trip outdoors.

  • 1931 M. W. Wellman Disc-Men of Jupiter in Wonder Stories Sept. 544/1 page image Manly Wade Wellman

    The space-suit, designed for use on the outside of just such hulls as these, was furnished with boots that had magnetic soles, and Thiana was thankful for the firm footing they afforded her. Slowly she walked toward the nose of the ship, her ray ready in her hands.

  • 1933 J. Williamson Dead Star Station in Astounding Stories Nov. 64/1 Jack Williamson

    ‘Come on and get into your space suit.’ Five minutes later, the eleven of us were dragging ourselves across between the ships in clumsy, inflated suits, laden with weapons.

  • 1941 Cosmic Stories Mar.

    The Plutonian night was cold and blue. But Lance didn’t feel the cold as he stepped from the observatory airlock in his bulbous space-suit.

  • 1966 S. Delany Babel-17 iii. v. 171 Samuel R. Delany bibliography

    To fight in a space suit out there is no good.

  • 1970 A. McCaffrey Ship who Sang (1991) i. 20 Anne McCaffrey

    Jennan broke out spacesuits to the three who would have to remain with him in the airlock.

  • 1979 D. Adams Hitch Hiker’s Guide to Galaxy iii. 25 Douglas Adams

    He will automatically assume he is also in possession of a toothbrush,…space suit etc., etc.

  • 1980 D. Brin Sundiver iv. xii. 128 David Brin

    Now LaRoque was putting on a spacesuit in a tool closet twenty meters from an outer airlock.

  • 1993 K. S. Robinson Red Mars iii. 92/93 Kim Stanley Robinson bibliography

    The walkers were designed for the Martian surface, and were not pressurized like spacesuits.

  • 2005 R. J. Sawyer Mindscan xxx. 217 Robert J. Sawyer

    It used to be, I'm told, that spacesuits had to be custom built for each user, but new adaptive fabrics made that unnecessary.

Research requirements

antedating 1929

Earliest cite

Science Wonder Stories

Research History
Dan Tilque submitted a cite from a 1958 reprint of E.E. Smith's "The Skylark of Space". Alistair Durie checked earlier editions of this story: the 1946 edition used "space-suit", but the original 1928 magazine edition used only the term "suit". The OED database quotes the Smith cite as from 1928, but it appears that Smith only used the term in later editions.
Fred Galvin submitted a 1935 cite for "space-suit" from Lawrence Manning's "World of the Mist".
Fred Galvin submitted a cite for "space suit" from a 1975 reprint of Jack Williamson's "Dead Star Station" which Mike Christie verified in its 1933 first publication.
Fred Galvin submitted cites for "space-suit" and "space suit" from a 1947 reprint of Manly Wade Wellman's "The Disc-Men of Jupiter"; Jesse Sheidlower verified them in the first publication (Wonder Stories, September, 1931).
Fred Galvin submitted a 1932 cite from "The Electronic Siege", by John W. Campbell, Jr.

Last modified 2021-04-13 23:38:18
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.