Full record for space fleet n.

Definition a fleet of spaceships
OED requirements antedating 1934
Earliest cite E.E. Smith, "The Skylark of Valeron"
Comment Fred Galvin submitted a cite from a 1952 reprint of Jack Williamson's "Hindsight"; Mike Christie verified it in its 1940 first publication.
Fred Galvin submitted a cite for "space-fleet" from a 1950 reprint of Edward E. Smith's "Robot Nemesis"; Alistair Durie verified this in its June 1939 first publication.
Fred Galvin submitted a 1942 cite for "space-fleet" from Isaac Asimov's "Black Friar of the Flame"
Fred Galvin submitted a March 1939 cite from The Machine That Thought, by William Callahan (a pseudonym of Raymond Z. Gallun)
Fred Galvin submitted a 1934 cite from E.E. "Doc" Smith's "The Skylark of Valeron"

Earliest cite in the OED: 1944

Last modified 5 August, 2009

Citations for space fleet n.

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1934 E.E. Smith Skylark of Valeron in Astounding Stories Sept. 38/2 Even more clearly than as if he himself had seen them all happen, DuQuesne beheld and understood Seaton's visit to Norlamin, the story of the Fenachrone peril, the building of the fifth-order projector, the demolition of Fenor's space fleet, the revenge-purposed flight of Ravindau the scientist, and the complete volatilization of the Fenachrone planet.
1939 ‘W. Callahan’ Machine That Thought in Sci. Fiction Mar. 66/2 Third, there is a great air and space fleet stationed near the St. Louis exit.
1939 'W. Callahan' Machine That Thought in Sci. Fiction Mar. 66/2 Third, there is a great air and space fleet stationed near the St. Louis exit.
1939 E. E. Smith Robot Nemesis in Thrilling Wonder Stories June 74/1 You all know of the mighty space-fleet which the nations of our enemies are maintaining to repel invasion from space.
1940 J. WIlliamson Hindsight in Astounding Sci.-Fiction May 104/1 Millions of Earthmen have labored for years to prepare for this rebellion. Earth has built a space fleet.
1942 I. Asimov Black Friar of Flame in Planet Stories Spring Against this oldest of all naval tactics—old even in the dim dawn of history when rival triremes had maneuvered and rammed each other to destruction with pointed prows—the super-modern equipment of a space-fleet has no defense.
1950 E. E. Smith Robot Nemesis in Startling Stories July 122/2 You all know of the mighty space-fleet which the nations of our enemies are maintaining to repel invasion from space.
1958 R. Silverberg Invaders from Earth (1987) xix. 176 The Extraterrestrial Development and Exploration Corporation has‥become virtually a supranational state, with lands of its own, police of its own, now a spacefleet of its own.
1983 R. Sheckley Dramocles (1984) 123 Two spacefleets were coming together in the immensity of space.
1984 K. S. Robinson Icehenge (1990) 57 The entire Soviet space fleet rebelled and pearl-harbored the rest of the Committee's spaceships, with devastating success.