outer space n.

the region of space beyond Earth’s atmosphere or beyond the solar system; in extended use: a place or region beyond the usual limits of awareness or accessibility


  • 1842 E. Stuart-Wortley Maiden of Moscow x. xiv. 410 page image

    All Earth in madness moved,—o'erthrown,[/]To outer space—driven—racked—undone!

  • 1855 S. H. Hammond & L. W. Mansfield Country Margins & Rambles of Journalist 181

    Geologists tell us, and astronomers endorse what they say, that it has, at some period of its existence, been run into by a comet; and how do we know that even now, away off millions upon millions of miles distant, some wandering meteor in outer space is not on its way to knock this our planet into a universal smash?

  • 1859 New Englander (New Haven, Connecticut) Aug. 589

    Olbers, the great astronomer of Bremen, praises him for his circumstantial description and collection of the particulars of the shower, and arrives at the same conclusion which Prof. Olmstead had adopted from the constant direction of the shower, that it did not participate in the rotation of the earth, but came from outer space into our atmosphere.

  • 1901 H. G. Wells First Men in Moon iii. 45 H. G. Wells

    After all, to go into outer space is not so much worse, if at all, than a polar expedition.

Research requirements

antedating 1842

Earliest cite

E. S. Wortley 'Maiden of Moscow'

Research History
Fred Galvin submitted a cite from no later than 1891 from the fourth edition of Richard Proctor's "Other Worlds Than Ours", and subsequently confirmed the cite in the 1874 edition.
Bill Mullins submitted an 1859 cite from an article, "Discourse Commemorative of Professor Denison Olmsted, LL. D." published in "New Englander and Yale Review" August 1859.
Bill Mullins submitted an 1855 cite from "Country Margins and Rambles of a Journalist", by S.H. Hammond and L.W. Mansfield.
Bill Mullins submitted a cites from a magazine article, "Shooting Stars and Aërolites" in "Littell's Living Age", (November 1, 1845), reprinted from an earlier publication in Chambers' Journal.

OED entry was revised in December 2004, with an earliest date of 1842.

Last modified 2021-10-28 18:58:08
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.