earthlike adj.

resembling or like the Earth

OED records a poetic example from 1849 in a figurative context, and a scientific example from 1884.

  • 1928 E. E. Smith & L. H. Garby The Skylark of Space in Amazing Stories Sept. 550/1 page image Edward E. Smith Lee Hawkins Garby bibliography

    We found air and Earth-like conditions here; we probably will elsewhere.

  • 1937 O. Stapledon Star Maker (1987) 70 Olaf Stapledon

    On one very small but earthlike planet we discovered a quasi-human race which was probably unique.

  • 1938 E. E. Smith Galactic Patrol in Astounding Stories Jan. 131/1 Edward E. Smith

    Off he shot, and in due course a fair, green, Earthlike planet lay beneath his vessel’s keel.

  • 1943 J. W. Campbell Arithmetic & Empire in Astounding Science Fiction Nov. 3/2 John W. Campbell, Jr.

    Since a planet habitable for humankind will, of necessity, be Earthlike, an average population per planet of one billion would be conservative.

  • 1948 P. Anderson Genius in Astounding Science Fiction Dec. 28/2 page image Poul Anderson bibliography

    There are three control stations, Earth-like planets where ordinary human types were left, and from them we're getting valuable information on the path which terrestrial history actually took.

  • 1949 Astounding Science Fiction May 126/1

    They found five planets which would support human life, two of them exceptionally earthlike.

  • 1964 G. Roddenberry Letter to F. Bachelin 10 Dec. in S. E. Whitfield & G. Roddenberry Making of β€˜Star Trek’ (1968) i. vii. 110 Gene Roddenberry bibliography

    The eagles over the courtyard arch are much too earthlike. We should remember this and find new heads to put on them.

  • 1981 C. D. Simak Project Pope (1982) 22 Clifford D. Simak

    So far as the planet is concerned, I know nothing except that it is Earthlike. No trouble for humans to live there.

  • 1987 O. Butler Dawn (1991) iv. ix. 257 Octavia E. Butler

    She wanted to stay in an Earthlike setting until she went to Earth. She wanted to stay with human beings even though for a time, she did not love them.

  • 1988 A. C. Clarke 2061 112 Arthur C. Clarke

    Only on Ganymede and Europa were there regions with Earthlike temperatures.

  • 2006 J. McDevitt Odyssey xx. 176 Jack McDevitt

    Terranova had ice caps and mountain ranges and island groups. It was an odd experience, looking at a place so Earthlike, but with unfamiliar landmasses.


Research requirements

antedating 1928

Earliest cite

E.E. Smith, The Skylark of Space

Research History
Sue Surova submitted a cite from 1952.
Enoch Forrester submitted a cite from a 1987 reprint of Olaf Stapledon's "Star Maker"; we would like to check the 1937 first edition.
Mike Christie submitted a 1966 cite from Larry Niven's "At the Bottom of a Hole".
Mike Christie submitted a cite from a 1982 reprint of Clifford Simak's 1981 "Project Pope".
Mike Christie submitted a cite from a 1990 reprint of Dan Simmons' 1989 "Hyperion".
Mike Christie submitted a 1988 cite from Arthur C. Clarke's "2061: Odyssey Three".
Mike Christie submitted a 1949 cite from William Bade's "Lost Ulysses".
Mike Christie submitted a 1948 cite from Poul Anderson's "Genius".
Mike Christie submitted a 1945 cite from an unascribed piece, probably by John Campbell, in Astounding.
Mike Christie submitted a 1943 cite from an editorial by John Campbell in Astounding.
Mike Christie submitted a 1938 cite from E.E. Smith's "Galactic Patrol".
Fred Galvin submitted a 1928 cite for "earth-like" from E.E. Smith's "The Skylark of Space".

Last modified 2021-01-09 23:21:28
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.