Full record for free fall n.

Definition The state in which a body moves freely under the influence of gravity.
OED requirements antedating 1851
Earliest cite North American Review
Comment OED draft entry for March 2008 was updated with an earliest date of 1851 from the North American Review.
Last modified 6 July, 2008

Citations for free fall n.

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1950 R. Heinlein Farmer in Sky (1975) viii. 83 While cruising in free fall according to plan, the ship was breached by a small meteorite.
1953 R. A. Heinlein Starman Jones (1975) xiii. 143 The ship will be in free fall for thirty seconds.
1972 J. Blish Star Trek 8 138 Instead of rising, the elevator sank. Decks flashed by to a whining sound. ‘Free fall!’ Kirk yelled.
1976 C. Holland Floating Worlds (1977) 89 He's anemic‥.Free fall and rich atmosphere.
1981 R.L. Forward & H.P. Moravec High Wire Act in O. Davis Omni Bk. of Space 81 The grapples release, and again you are in free fall.
1981 R.L. Forward & H.P. Moravec High Wire Act in O. Davis Omni Bk. of Space 73 Those moments of free fall before the cable catches you for the real trip to space are nerve-racking.
1983 B. Sterling & W. Gibson Red Star, Winter Orbit in B. Sterling Mirrorshades (1986) 204 She kissed his cheek, wobbling in freefall.
1984 W. Gibson Neuromancer (1989) iii.viii. 103 Molly and a skinny Zionite called Aerol helped Case negotiate a freefall corridor into the core of a smaller torus.
1990 R. L. Forward Rocheworld 6 Their commander swam in free-fall among them.
1991 L. Niven et al. Fallen Angels 9 Gordon had been born in free fall and thrust was new to him.
1992 V. Vinge Fire upon Deep i. xvi. 124 There was something to be said for hard vacuum and free fall.
1992 V. Vinge Fire upon Deep i. i. 9 Dad cut the jet, and they were in free fall again.
1992 H. Collins Mutagenesis 13 ‘Kyly is a turd!’ Rol Addle shouted, pushing himself into the cabin. In spite of freefall, in spite of his obvious youth and strength, he was struggling, panting.
1994 Analog Science Fiction & Fact Jan. 185/1 The Earth, Moon, and Sun circle each other in a free-fall dance.
2004 P. F. Hamilton Pandora's Star xx. 639 So now he was enduring the physical and unfortunately biological discomforts of prolonged freefall once again.