Full record for solar system n.

Definition a system of one or more stars, possibly with accompanying planets
OED requirements antedating 1887
Earliest cite M. Corelli 'A Romance of Two Worlds'
Comment Ralf Brown located and Steven Silver submitted a 1991 cite from George Zebrowski's "Stranger Suns". Ralf Brown located and Douglas Winston submitted a 1977 cite from George Zebrowski's "Ashes and Stars". Mike Christie submitted a 1944 cite from Hal Clement's "Trojan Fall". Mike Christie submitted a 1946 cite from Murray Leinster's "The Plants". Mike Christie submitted a 1941 cite from Raymond Z. Galllun's "Meteor Legacy".
Ralf Brown identified and Lawrence Watt-Evans located a cite from the 1887 second edition of Marie Corelli's 1886 "A Romance of Two Worlds"

(The OED definition refers only to our own solar system.)

Last modified 6 July, 2008

Citations for solar system n.

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1886 M. Corelli Romance of Two Worlds 192 Granting human electricity to exist, why should not a communication be established, like a sort of spiritual Atlantic cable, between man and the beings of other spheres and other solar systems?
1935 ‘M. Leinster’ Proxima Centauri in Astounding Stories Mar. 21/2 He had piloted the Adastra to its first contact with the civilization of another solar system.
1941 R. Z. Gallun Meteor Legacy in Astounding Sci.-Fiction Aug. 39/2 Must be a piece of some unknown planet, that maybe belonged to some unknown solar system, way out among the stars.
1944 ‘H. Clement’ Trojan Fall in Astounding Sci.-Fiction June 57/2 Admittedly, he was used to interplanetary rather than interstellar flight; but it is almost as easy to get lost inside solar systems as between them.
1946 ‘M. Leinster’ Plants in Astounding Sci.-Fiction Jan. 142/1 Slade left the Copernicus with fuel for at most seven light-years. It's fifty to the nearest inhabited solar system.
1977 G. Zebrowski Ashes & Stars 109 Gorgias touched the map retrieval plate and the screen lit up, revealing a solar system of twelve planets.
1991 G. Zebrowski Stranger Suns 38 ‘We're the first human beings to reach another solar system,’ Lena said with awe.
1995 U. K. Le Guin Four Ways to Forgiveness 211 The Werel-Yeowe solar system consists of 16 planets orbiting a yellow-white star (RK-tamo-5544-34).
2002 J. Haldeman From ‘Guardian’ in Conjunctions 39 177 No place in your solar system, other than Earth, has life that's at all interesting.