Full record for hyperdrive n.

Definition a spaceship drive that enables travel faster than the speed of light.
OED requirements antedating 1949
Earliest cite Startling Stories
Comment Bill Seabrook located and Mike Christie confirmed a 1950 cite from Theodore Sturgeon's "The Stars Are The Styx". Mike Christie submitted a 1949 cite from Poul Anderson and John Gergen's "Entity". Fred Galvin submitted a cite for "hyper-drive" from an editorial blurb in the January 1949 Startling Stories for the next issue's publication of Murray Leinster's "The Black Galaxy".

Earliest cite in the OED: 1955.

Last modified 30 July, 2019

Citations for hyperdrive n.

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1949 Startling Stories Jan. 10/2 Construction is still going on and, through a worker's accident, the ship, still incomplete and utterly unarmed, is sent flashing into the ‘other’ space, a universe of complete darkness in which its hyper-drive operates.
1949 P. Anderson & J. Gergen in Astounding Sci. Fiction June 62/1 If they had had the hyperdrive that far back, they would have visited the Sol sector by now.
1950 ‘T. Sturgeon’ in Galaxy Oct. 79/2 By the time you're clear of Curbstone's gravitic field and slip into hyper-drive, the new ship'll be waiting for passengers.
1964 G. Roddenberry Cage 29 June in S. E. Whitfield & G. Roddenberry Making of ‘Star Trek’ (1968) i. iv. 65 A shot of a space vessel picking up speed into hyperdrive.
1969 M. Z. Bradley Brass Dragon (1980) iii. 49 A spaceship traveling at half the speed of light on planetary drive, and three times the speed of light on hyperdrive, expected to call in at three widely separated stars–and I can't figure out how long they'd be in space each way.
1970 L. Niven Ringworld 106 There wasn't even a theoretical basis for faster-than-light travel. We never did invent hyperdrive, if you'll recall. We'd never have discovered it by accident, either, because we'd never have thought to do our experiments out beyond the singularity.
1971 P. Anderson in Analog Sci. Fiction/Sci. Fact Aug. 108/2 After all, with the hyperdrive opening endless wonders to them, spacefarers tended to choose the most obviously glamorous.
1988 C. J. Cherryh Cyteen 69 He was scared into hyperdrive.
1988 Locus Apr. 25/2 A young robot and a young genius niece of Jonathan Durant combine to create Hyperdrive.
1990 J. Pournelle & S. M. Stirling Asteroid Queen in L. Niven et al. Man-Kzin Wars III (1992) x. 166 The commander of the hyperdrive warship Outsider's Gift sat back and relaxed for the first time in weeks as his craft broke through into normal space.
1991 J. Varley Steel Beach (1993) 332 So I slammed the Blackbird into hyperdrive and listened to the banshee wail as the old ship shuddered and leaped into the fourth dimension.
1993 SFRA Rev. May 103 The roar of the Millennium Falcon's hyperdive engines reinforce my desire for more of Zahn's books of long, long ago in a galaxy far, far away.
1994 B. Bova Craft of Writing Sci. Fict. that Sells vi. 43 Or that so many people have see ‘Star Trek’ or other ‘sci-fi’ movies in which starships use hyperdrive to exceed the speed of light that there is no need to give any details about such fictitious concepts.
1994 S.M. Baxter Ring (1996) v. 65 However the hyperdrive works, it must be based on manipulating the multidimensionality of space.
1997 R. Hatch & C. Golden Battlestar Galactica: Armageddon xix. 237 Both ships slipped out of reality using the Quantum Shift Effect, even as they rocketed into hyperdrive.
2004 P. F. Hamilton Pandora's Star v. 126 Sixty-three per cent of the components were fabricated on Augusta, including the wormhole generator mechanism which would act as the hyperdrive.