warp speed n.
a faster-than-light speed, attained by a spaceship with a propulsion mechanism capable of manipulating space-time; (also, in extended use) an extraordinarily high speed
Often associated with Star Trek.
'Free' speed, with old-fashioned fuel-eating jets which were supposed to be carried as emergency power units only, was forty thousand miles a second at best—warp-speed, depending on the dimension you used, had a top of better than a thousand light-years a minute.
Yachting Party in Imagination Jan. 95/2
[1953 Planet Stories Mar. 2
We’re in trouble again. Bad trouble. Letters are skidding in at space-warp speed censoring the daylights out of PLANET for running three Bryan Berry stories at one time. It is hard to see why we should get especial hell for this. Here comes a writer who is well-set in England though new here—here were three gems of high nutritional value—here was a magazine with a staggering I.Q.’d audience—a natural, yes? ]
Kirk Helm, give us warp speed.
Corbomite Maneuver (Star Trek episode) (transcription)
Spock Vessel changing course, heading toward us at high warp speed.
Journey to Babel (Star Trek episode) (transcription)
Scott I’ve never seen anything like it. He’s operating at warp speed. I’d like a try at that teacher myself.
Spock’s Brain (Star Trek episode) (transcription)
1973 Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction Aug. 162/2 (classified ad)
Alien Space costs $4 and gives each player command of a warp speed starship, equipped with blazers, shields, sensors, main and auxiliary engines, life support systems, etc.
I would feel better if we could head out at warp speed.
Price of Phoenix (1985) xxi. 136,
‘Engineer,’ Kirk persisted, ‘we need warp speed now!’
Star Trek: Motion Picture–Novel 101
‘Two hours minimum, sir, at top warp speed. At our present rate, two days.’ ‘Damn… Maximum warp, then.’
Star Trek: Next Generation: Captains' Honor i. 14
In 1990, the civil libertarians of cyberspace assembled out of nowhere in particular, at warp speed.
Hacker Crackdown 232
Earth’s forces had warp-speed capability, while the Romulans had to rely on mere impulse engines.
My Brother’s Keeper . v. 61
2007 Fangoria (#265) Aug. 34/3
One movie after another hopping on the bloodsoaked bandwagon, studios content to distill remakes at warp speed and writers simply meandering thanks to a dearth of ideas.
When your friend is coherent tell him that if he shows up again, he’ll achieve warp speed thanks to my foot in his ass.
Redshirts (2013) 174
Research HistoryDavid Summers submitted a 1979 cite from Gene Roddenberry's "Star Trek: The Motion Picture" novelization.
Bill Mullins submitted a 1952 cite found on Internet Archive.
OED updated June 2003, with a 1977 earliest cite.
Last modified 2021-01-26 20:38:04
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.