Full record for gas giant n.

Definition a large planet composed mostly of gaseous material thought to surround a solid core; spec. each of the four largest planets in the solar system (Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune)
OED requirements antedating 1952
Earliest cite James Blish, 'Solar Plexus'
Comment Mike Christie submitted a 1955 cite from James Blish's "Watershed". Fred Galvin submitted a cite from a 1954 reprint in an anthology ("Beyond Human Ken" ed. Judith Merril) of James Blish's "Solar Plexus". Alistair Durie checked the first publication of this story (in Astonishing Stories, September 1941), but Blish apparently rewrote the story, and the cite does not appear in this first publication. Fred Galvin located the cite in the the Merril anthology's 1952 first publication.

Earliest cite in the OED: 1965

Last modified 6 July, 2008

Citations for gas giant n.

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1954 J. Blish Solar Plexus in Beyond Human Ken 106 A quick glance over the boards revealed that there was a magnetic field of some strength near by, one that didn't belong to the invisible gas giant revolving half a million miles away.
1955 J. Blish in If Mar. 42/2 On worlds where only extreme modifications of the human form would make it suitable—for instance, a planet of the gas giant type—no seeding is attempted.
1979 O. Davies in O. Davis Omni Bk. of Space 86 Five of the encounter probes would be specially designed to study gas-giant planets similar to Jupiter.
1990 R. L. Forward Rocheworld 48 It is a huge gas giant like Jupiter.
1990 G. Bear Queen of Angels (1991) i.iv. 17 B-3 was already known to moonbased astronomers; it is a huge gas giant some ten miles larger than Jupiter.
1994 D. Kingsbury Heroic Myth Lieutenant Nora Argamentine in L. Niven et al. Man-Kzin Wars VI xviii. 175 Inward there were two gas giants for an ample supply of hydrogen and helium, and a thin belt of rubble for heavier metals.
1995 A. D. Foster Life Form i. 1 The outermost was a gas giant, a lonely but colorful banded sentinel the size of Neptune.
2005 I. M. Banks Algebraist Prologue 3 Sunlight poured from the purple sky visible between the curve of eastward horizon (hills, haze) and the enormous overhanging bulk of the gas-giant planet Nasqueron filling the majority of the sky (motley with all the colours of the spectrum below bright yellow, multitudinously spotted, ubiquitously zoned and belted with wild liquidic squiggles).