Full record for airlock n.

Definition a small compartment with controlled pressure and two sets of doors, used to facilitate movement between the interior and exterior of a spacecraft; (also) either of the doors to such a compartment
OED requirements antedating 1928
Earliest cite in E. E. "Doc" Smith's Skylark of Space
Comment OED includes this in its existing entry, which does not separate out the SF sense. The earliest quotation is from 1857; the earliest SF example (in OED) is from 1951.
Last modified 6 July, 2008

Citations for airlock n.

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1930 J. W. Campbell Black Star Passes in Amazing Stories Q. Fall 523/1 Through the air-locks the great ships settled into their world.
1970 A. McCaffrey Ship who Sang (1991) i.20 She must put on the suit because the airlock had no independent oxygen or cooling units.
1973 A. C. Clarke Rendezvous with Rama (1974) 20 A clearly marked circular disc, a hundred metres in diameter, was centred on the Pole, and Norton had a strong suspicion that this must be the outer seal of an enormous airlock.
1979 A. C. Clarke Fountains of Paradise 137 The second floor was completely empty, devoid even of temporary fittings. Someone had chalked a large rectangle on the curved plastic panel of the wall and printed inside it: AIRLOCK HERE?
1980 D. Brin Sundiver iv.xii. 128 Now LaRoque was putting on a spacesuit in a tool closet twenty meters from an outer airlock.
1981 C. J. Cherryh Pride of Chanur (1991) vii. 108 Dur Tahar laid her ears back and started to go, lingered for one poisonous look beyond, toward the airlock, and a focus snapped back on center.
1984 D. Brin Practice Effect i. iv. 13 Anything shoved through the airlock would arrive on the anomaly world.
1985 M. W. Bonanno Dwellers in Crucible xi.233 A slight, athletic figure‚Ä•braved his way through the RihanFed Border Station toward the helmeted and heavily armed sentry at the single airlock.
1992 A. Steele Labyrinth of Night 40 Since the airlock could accommodate only two people at a time, the two men had allowed Miho to have her privacy while they waited in the depressurised garage.
1993 A. C. Clarke Hammer of God 118 As they were walking through the airlock to the pressurized Marscar that had brought them from the hotel, the exhibition produced one final surprise.
1998 L. A. Graf & M. J. Friedman War Dragons x. 140 You'd have to dock her at the emergency airlock on the primary hull.
1998 G. Cox Assignment: Eternity iii. 38 Toss them out an airlock?
2005 R. J. Sawyer Mindscan xxx. 218 Then we cycled through the airlock, which happened to be adjacent to the pad where the moonbuses landed.