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space, n.1

Brit. /speɪs/
U.S. /speɪs/
Forms:  ME spaace, ME spas, ME sspace, ME stace (transmission error), ME–15 spase, ME– space, 15 spays, 18– speeace (English regional (Yorkshire)); Scottish pre-17 spac, pre-17 spaic, pre-17 spaice, pre-17 spaiche, pre-17 spais, pre-17 spas, pre-17 spase, pre-17 spasse, pre-17 speace, pre-17 spec, pre-17 spece, pre-17 speice, pre-17 speis, pre-17 17– space. (Show Less)
Frequency (in current use): 
Origin: A borrowing from French. Etymons: French space, espace, spaze, aspace.
Etymology: < Anglo-Norman space, variant of espace, espas, espasce, espase, espasse, esspace, ezpasz, aspace and Old French spaze, variant of aspace, Old French, Middle French espace, espasse (French espace  ) period of time, duration, time (second half of the 12th cent.), deferment, delay, respite (c1177), size, extent (of a place) (c1200), occasion, opportunity (13th cent.), distance between two points, interval, width (1314), expanse of the air or sky (16th cent.; 1662 in sense ‘infinite expanse of the universe’) < classical Latin spatium   (in post-classical Latin also spacium  ) course or track, expanse of ground, area, space occupied by something, expanse in which the universe is situated, intervening space, gap, interval, space available for a purpose, room, linear extent, length, width, distance, great length or distance, actual distance, surface area, extent, size, stretch of time, period, long period, temporal extent, duration, intervening period of time, interval, time available for a purpose, (in music) difference in pitch between two notes, interval, length or time of a metrical foot, quantity of a vowel sound < the same Indo-European base as speed n.   The English word apparently reflects borrowing of the (relatively rare) French forms of the type space  , spaze  , although its sense development was greatly influenced by the senses shown by the French word in forms of the (much commoner) type espace  , as also by the senses of the Latin word. For (rare) examples of forms in English reflecting borrowing of the French type espace   see espace n.   Compare also spacie n.   Compare Old Occitan espazi, espasi (1204; Occitan espaci), Catalan espai (late 13th cent.), Spanish espacio (1196), Portuguese espaço (14th cent.), Italian spazio (1308).
 I. Denoting time or duration.
 1. Time which is free or available for doing something; leisure; opportunity. Chiefly in to have (also give) space . Frequently coupled with other nouns, esp. time. Now rare and archaic.In later use sometimes difficult to distinguish from extended uses of senses relating to physical space (see branch II.); cf. breathing-space n. at breathing n. Compounds.

 a. With infinitive or prepositional phrase as complement.

c1300   All Souls (Laud) 68 in C. Horstmann Early S.-Eng. Legendary (1887) 422 (MED)   He ne may habbe no space here his penaunce bringue to ende.
c1300   Assumption of Virgin (Cambr. Gg.4.27) (1901) l. 172   Þat þu..Ȝef hem boþe wille and space, Hem to amendy er hy beo ded.
c1330  (?a1300)    Guy of Warwick (Auch.) p. 556 (MED)   Berard on þe helme he smot; To stond hadde he no space.
c1390   Body & Soul (Vernon) (1889) 104   A! Ihesu, that us alle hast wrouȝt,..Of amendement ȝef us space.
a1400  (c1303)    R. Mannyng Handlyng Synne (Harl.) l. 11292   Y þanke þe..Þat hast lent me wyt and space, Þys yn Englys for to drawe.
1445   tr. Claudian's De Consulatu Stilichonis in Anglia (1905) 28 277   The doome of heven also yiveth space to mannys favour in the.
1483  (▸1413)    tr. G. Deguileville Pilgrimage of Soul (Caxton) (1859) i. xvi. 17   He had space, and suffysaunt leyser ynow, for to haue..enstablysshed procuratours.
1484   W. Caxton tr. Subtyl Historyes & Fables Esope iii   Whanne the poure man was before the Juge, he demaunded terme and space for to answere.
1508   W. Kennedy Flyting (Chepman & Myllar) in Poems W. Dunbar (1998) I. 212   To ete thy flesch the doggis sall haue na space.
1565   T. Cooper Thesaurus at Spatium   They had tyme or space to take aduisement.
1591   J. N. Path-way to Penitence sig. A3   They are most likely to be preuented and ouertaken with ye wrath of God, whose merciful fauor in giuing them sufficient space and means to repent, they haue neglected and ouerpassed.
1601   B. Jonson Fountaine of Selfe-love v. i. sig. Kv   Giue vnto the flying Hart, Space to breath, how short soeuer.  
1624   J. Skinner True Relation Proc. against Eng. at Amboyna 29   The Priest and the rest, although they had space and means to haue escaped to Seran and other places safe enough from the Hollanders, yet were so confident of their innocency, that they would needs to Poloway to purge themselues.
1675   R. Burthogge Cavsa Dei 102   That very space to Repent..but confirmeth and emboldens the stubborn and wicked.
1702   S. Clarke Paraphr. Gospels Mark & Luke ii. xiii. 180   Thus likewise to every Obstinate Sinner, God offers means and space of Repentance.
1755   M. Byles Divine Power & Anger 3   If thus having Space to repent, we yet repent not, we shall find that is it a fearful Thing to fall into the Hands of the living God.
1793   H. Boyd Royal Message iv. iii, in Poems 408   This will afford him space to reach the camp.
1910   S. Phillips Pietro of Siena iii. i. 42   It is not yet too late. Give me a little more of time to breathe..I but ask A little space to see her once, or hear Her voice.

c1300—1910(Hide quotations)


b. Without complement. Obsolete.

c1390   in C. Brown Relig. Lyrics 14th Cent. (1924) 128 (MED)   Wel is him þat haþ þat grace For to plese his god..And Merci seche while he haþ space.
a1393   J. Gower Confessio Amantis (Fairf.) v. l. 3843   Thogh thei hadden litel space, Yit thei acorden in that place.
?a1400  (a1338)    R. Mannyng Chron. (Petyt) ii. 86 (MED)   He may, tille he has space, gif it withouten synnes.
c1405  (c1387–95)    G. Chaucer Canterbury Tales Prol. (Hengwrt) (2003) l. 35   While I haue tyme and space.
a1475  (?1445)    J. Lydgate Minor Poems (1911) i. 368   I cry vnto ȝow..That ȝe gete to us repentaunce and space.
c1480   Childe of Bristowe in W. C. Hazlitt Remains Early Pop. Poetry Eng. (1864) I. 121   And y shal laboure..to bring your soule in better way, yf y have lyf and space.
c1510   T. More tr. G. F. Pico della Mirandola Lyfe J. Picus in Wks. 26   Happly thou shouldest not liue an houre more Thy sinne to clense, and though thou hadst space, Yet paraduenture shouldst thou lacke the grace.
▸ ?a1513   W. Dunbar Poems (1998) I. 143   Asking wald haif..Convenient tyme, lasar and space.
1563   2nd Tome Homelyes sig. Mmm.iii   We must take, hede that we call vppon this aduocate, whyle we haue space geuen vs in thys Lyfe.
1581   H. Walpole in W. Allen Martyrdom Campion (1908) 46   God graunt they may amend the same, While here they have the space.
1602   W. Leigh Soules Solace in W. Harrison Deaths Advantage (ed. 2) 38   Alwaies reason requireth that whilest we haue space and time, wee should amend and correct our faults.
a1616   W. Shakespeare All's Well that ends Well (1623) iv. i. 90   Come on, thou are granted space .  
1635   T. Cranley Amanda 79   Helpe me to pray to God, to grant me grace, To persevere in this my reformation, That I may now repent, whilst I have space.
1743   D. Crosley Triumph Sovereign Grace p. xxxi   Blessed be God he gives us space.
1791   Mod. Politics 23   Give us space and time, and we may do all things well.
[1821   W. Scott Kenilworth III. vii. 128   ‘By my faith, time and space fitting, this were a good tale to tell,’ said Leicester.]

c1390—1791(Hide quotations)

 2. Quantity or extent of time.
 a. The amount of time contained in a specified period.

 (a) Preceded by (preposition and) definite article, and followed by of.

a1350   Recipe Painting in Archæol. Jrnl. (1844) 1 66 (MED)   Sete hit into horsse dunge depe bi the space of ix niht.
a1425  (a1400)    Prick of Conscience (Galba & Harl.) (1863) 3933   Þe space of alle ane hale yhere.
c1450  (c1350)    Alexander & Dindimus (Bodl.) (1929) l. 885   Þe space of hure liuus.
1484   W. Caxton tr. Subtyl Historyes & Fables Esope i   [He] festyed hym by the space of xiiij dayes.
1515   in I. S. Leadam Select Cases Star Chamber (1911) II. 98   He bought the space of xxti yere Irne..and Retailled the same.
?1547   J. Bale Brefe Comedy Tempt. Our Lorde sig. D   I haue fasted here, the space of forty dayes.
1578   H. Lyte tr. R. Dodoens Niewe Herball 28   The leaves..dronken in wine by the space of seven dayes healeth the Jaundes.
1604   E. Grimeston tr. J. de Acosta Nat. & Morall Hist. Indies iii. xvii. 174   In the water whereof, you cannot indure to hold your hand, the space of an Ave Maria.
1638   F. Junius Painting of Ancients 99   For the space of many generations it hath been a shop of Arts and Artists.
1684   A. Behn Love-lett. between Noble-man & Sister sig. A12v   These Letters were found in their Cabinets, at their house at St. Denice, where they both liv'd together for the space of a year.
1726   J. Swift Gulliver II. iii. iii. 43   The former revolves in the space of ten Hours.
1753   E. Haywood Hist. Jemmy & Jenny Jessamy II. xvii. 183   Her countenance went through several changes in the space of half a minute.
1793   J. Smeaton Narr. Edystone Lighthouse (ed. 2) §344   In the space of a tide, the salt water has not time to..return.
1832   D. Brewster Lett. Nat. Magic xii. 311   In the space of twenty minutes the eggs were roasted quite hard.
1837   P. Keith Bot. Lexicon 128   He found that sprigs..became quite dead in the space of a day.
1841   G. S. Faber Provinc. Lett. (1844) I. 221   Wholly given to..idolatry by the space of above eight hundred years.
1883   Harper's Mag. Oct. 669/1   The unparalleled perseverance of the armies of the United States through almost every possible suffering and discouragement for the space of eight long years was little short of a standing miracle.
1939   ‘F. O'Brien’ At Swim-Two-Birds 128   The door of the dining-room was thrown open but nobody entered for the space of fifteen seconds.
1948   H. E. Bates Purple Plain (new ed.) viii   He realized that..all that had happened to him had happened in the space of a few minutes.
2001   Guardian (Nexis) 12 Oct. 24   Within the space of seven weeks, around 4,000 Kurds, fleeing eastern Turkey, arrived in Britain.

a1350—2001(Hide quotations)


 (b) With preceding genitive.

c1405  (c1390)    G. Chaucer Man of Law's Tale (Hengwrt) (2003) l. 916   Duryng the metes space The child stood lookynge in the kynges face.
?c1450   Life St. Cuthbert (1891) l. 3617   Before many ȝere space.
▸ ?a1513   W. Dunbar Poems (1998) I. 62   Thow seis the vrechis set..To gadder gudis all thar liffis spaice.
1542   D. Clapam tr. H. C. Agrippa Treat. Nobilitie Woman Kynde sig. Eviii   It is redde in the fourth boke of kingis, that quene Attalia reigned, & was souerayne Iudge in Ierusalem seuen yeres space.
1576   A. Fleming tr. Cicero in Panoplie Epist. 27   Who in seuen dayes space lost two sonnes.
1625   in W. Foster Eng. Factories India 1624–9 (1909) 101   Within an howers space shee was burnt to the water.
a1648   Ld. Herbert Life Henry VIII (1649) 45   He had but a Winters space; for the warre was to begin the next Spring.
1683   J. Bulteel tr. F. E. de Mézeray Gen. Chronol. Hist. France 758   The Princess of Espinoy in the absence of her Husband..defended it [sc. Tournay] for two Months space.
1703   N. Rowe Fair Penitent v. i. 55   Give me yet a Moment's space.
1757   W. Wilkie Epigoniad iv. 73   Yet for a truce of seven days space I plead.
1787   School of Virtue II. 108   In five minutes space she rested safe within the verge of land's protection.
1825   W. Scott Betrothed xv, in Tales Crusaders II. 304   There was more than three hours' space to the time of rendezvous.
1883   O. Schreiner Story Afr. Farm (new ed.) ii. i. 248   What comparison will there be between burning for a hundred years' space and to be burning without intermission as long as God is God?
1893   M. E. Wilkins Giles Corey ii. 29   I pray you, sirs, to take some cheers the while I go for a moment's space to my poor afflicted child.
1920   S. Teasdale Flame & Shadow 26   Here for a moment's space Into the light out of darkness, I come and they come with me.
1990   Contemp. Lit. 31 437   The amount of confusion he can create in a few hours' space is frequently astonishing.

c1405—1990(Hide quotations)


 b. The period or amount of time already specified, indicated, or otherwise determined. See also space of time n. at Phrases 2b.

?a1400  (a1338)    R. Mannyng Chron. (Petyt) ii. 305 (MED)   Bituex prime & none alle voide was þe place, þe bataile slayn & done alle within þat space.
c1460  (a1449)    J. Lydgate Legend St. Austin (Harl. 2255) l. 207 in Minor Poems (1911) i. 199   Al the space the masse was seyeng.
1545   in J. H. Burton Reg. Privy Council Scotl. (1877) 1st Ser. I. 16   For payment of the saidis horsemen during the said space.
1592   A. Day 2nd Pt. Eng. Secretorie sig. E3, in Eng. Secretorie (rev. ed.)    I thought two monethes being now passed, I might in this space haue found a season conuenient.
1639   D. Lupton tr. J. Verheiden Hist. Mod. Protestant Divines 272   He..sate Primate and Metropolitane of all England the space of 15. yeeres, in which space hee did many famous workes of Charity.
1688   R. Holme Acad. Armory iii. 221   Their [sc. the Jews'] Custome is before Marriage to be contracted and after some space to be Married.
1712   W. Fleetwood 4 Serm. Pref. p. viii   That precious Life, had it pleased God to have prolonged it to the usual Space.
1737   Gentleman's Mag. Nov. 690/2   The Expence of the Fleet within the same Space, exceeded 270,000l.
1779   S. Johnson Dryden in Pref. Wks. Eng. Poets III. 88   Though the life of a writer, from about thirty-five to sixty-three, may be supposed to have been sufficiently busied by the composition of eight and twenty pieces for the stage, Dryden found room in the same space for many other undertakings.
1823   W. Scott Quentin Durward III. i. 3   In less than the space we have mentioned, the Count..came back to the verge of the forest.
1851   H. W. Longfellow Golden Legend ii. 47   Forty years..Have I been Prior.., But for that space Never have I beheld thy face!
1938   Times 19 July 38/3   The two navies..have now been at peace for more than another century. Indeed, in the only wars in which either has fought in that space..they have been allied.
1995   Independent (Nexis) 8 July 40   The pear in caramel disappeared in the space it took to mop up the pint of water my daughter spilt on the banquette.

?a1400—1995(Hide quotations)


3. An appropriate or allotted time. Obsolete. rare.

a1382   Bible (Wycliffite, E.V.) (Bodl. 959) Eccles. iii. 1   Alle thingus han time, and in ther spaces [L. suis spatiis] passen alle thingus vnder the sunne.

a1382—a1382(Hide quotations)


 a. Without article: lapse, extent, or passage of time between two definite points, events, etc.; duration. Chiefly with adjectives, as little, long, short, small. Obsolete (chiefly poetic in later use).

a1400  (a1325)    Cursor Mundi (Vesp.) l. 6980 (MED)   Þair faith lasted littel space, For quen þai mast wer in þair wele, Mast þai soght þam-self vn-sele.
?a1400  (a1338)    R. Mannyng Chron. (Petyt) ii. 213   Grace God gaf him here, þis lond to kepe long space.
1487  (a1380)    J. Barbour Bruce (St. John's Cambr.) xi. 9   And quhen he herd..at sic space he had Till purvay hym, he ves rycht glad.
a1500  (▸1471)    G. Ripley Compend of Alchemy (Ashm.) l. 335 (MED)   A ȝer or more we take tyll oure resspyte, For in lesse space our calsys wyll note be made.
1509   S. Hawes Pastime of Pleasure (1928) vii. 32   Sayenge she wolde, in her goodly scyence In short space, me so well indoctryne.
c1549   in C. Innes Registrum Episcopatus Aberdonensis (1845) II. 307   With intervale and space necessare of þe law vsit.
1582   T. North tr. A. de Guevara Diall Princes 189   The eternall [1557 eternal creator] created this world in short space.
1634   T. Herbert Relation Some Yeares Trauaile 18   They become whole and frolicke, in small space.
1673   Pleasant Treat. Witches vi. 56   The vehemency of his fall was abated, and in short space he came again to his sences.
1700   J. Dryden tr. G. Boccaccio Sigismonda & Guiscardo in Fables 124   To her Father's Court, in little space Restor'd anew.
1731   J. Trapp tr. Virgil Georgicks iii, in tr. Virgil Wks. I. 204   In short space, from That contagious Touch, The sacred Fire their tainted Limbs devour'd.
1782   W. Cowper John Gilpin 242   The turnpike gates again Flew open in short space.
1812   H. F. Cary tr. Dante Paradiso xxiii. 16   Short space ensued; I was not held..Long in expectance.
1835   T. Mitchell in tr. Aristophanes Acharnians 57 (note)    A ten years' truce, in short, was..little more than space allowed for making new preparations for war.
1871   D. G. Rossetti Staff & Scrip in Poems xxx   O changed in little space!.. O pale that was so red!
1889   B. Carman Marjorie in Guendolen (single sheet)    The rune he sang, the rune she heard, Died on the air in little space.

a1400—1889(Hide quotations)


 b. in space: after a time or while. Obsolete.

c1400  (?c1380)    Pearl 61 (MED)   Fro spot my spyryt þer sprang in space.
1474   W. Caxton tr. Game & Playe of Chesse (1883) iii. viii. 148   In space and succession of tyme he departed to them alle his goodes temporell.
1526   W. Bonde Pylgrimage of Perfection iii. sig. MM   Take muddy water..& sette it alone,..& in space it wyll waxe clere.
c1540  (?a1400)    Destr. Troy 2811   Tyll þai comyn of the cost of Caucleda in spase.

c1400—c1540(Hide quotations)


 c. Delay, deferment; respite. Chiefly in negative contexts. Obsolete.

c1430  (c1395)    G. Chaucer Legend Good Women (Cambr. Gg.4.27) (1879) Prol. l. 440   [I] al for-ȝeue with oute lengere space.
?c1430   J. Lydgate Daunce Machabree (Huntington) 618   Life yn deserte..Mai a-ȝeyne dethe haue respite noon ne space.
a1500   Eng. Glosses MS BL Add. 37075 (1984) 94 (MED)   Mora..spase.
a1554   J. Croke tr. Thirteen Psalms (1844) cii. 19   Without abode or space, Bowe downe thyne ears.
1629   L. Andrewes XCVI. Serm. vi. 857   Strooken downe in the place, like ranke rebels; and tumbled into hell like reprobates, without space or grace.

c1430—1629(Hide quotations)

 a. A period or interval of time; a spell. Chiefly with indefinite article. (When used without adjective often implying a period of short duration.)

 (a) With of.See also space of time n. at Phrases 2b.

c1405  (c1395)    G. Chaucer Clerk's Tale (Hengwrt) (2003) l. 103   I dar the bettre aske of yow a space Of audience.
a1425  (a1400)    Prick of Conscience (Galba & Harl.) (1863) 436 (MED)   Þer þre partes er þre spaces talde Of þe lyf of ilk man.
1567   G. Fenton tr. M. Bandello Certaine Tragicall Disc. f. 221   Wythin a space of two or thre monethes, he was maried.
1602   S. Patrick tr. I. Gentillet Disc. Wel Governing 90   In this contestation..remained their affaires by a long and great space of yeares.
1657   Earl of Monmouth tr. P. Paruta Politick Disc. i. xi. 70   This may be alledged for the first reason, why the Empire was able to preserve it self for so long a space of years.
?1710   Squire Bickerstaff Detected 6   After a competent space of staring at me.
1797   Times 26 June 2/1   This Day is published..the Chronologist... Containing a faithful Series of the Events which have occurred in Europe, &c... Including a Space of nearly Seven Years.
1819   W. Scott Bride of Lammermoor ix, in Tales of my Landlord 3rd Ser. I. 263   The intervention of an unusual space of sobriety.
1831   W. Scott Castle Dangerous iii, in Tales of my Landlord 4th Ser. IV. 108   An intermediate space of punishment.
1867   N. Amer. Rev. Oct. 412   Within a space of two years the currency had swelled from a total of £17,000,000 to one of £24,500,000.
1923   Amer. Jrnl. Psychol. 34 470   A method where the pressure-change could be closely followed over a space of some 5 min. was sought.
1994   Jerusalem Post (Nexis) 4 Nov. 2   It would take a demographic miracle to transform a heterogeneous population of a few hundred thousand souls..into a people of 6 million in a space of some 70 years.
2005   J. Buzard Disorienting Fiction viii. 198   This departure from Thornfield allows both for a space of reflection on what has been happening there and for a first-ever return to Thornfield itself.

c1405—2005(Hide quotations)


 (b) Without complement.

a1450  (?a1300)    Richard Coer de Lyon (Caius) l. 6179 in K. Brunner Mittelengl. Vers-roman über Richard Löwenherz (1913) 394   Soone after in a lytyl spase..Þe castel become on a ffyr al.
a1525  (c1448)    R. Holland Bk. Howlat l. 112 in W. A. Craigie Asloan MS (1925) II. 98   To schape me a schand bird in a schort space.
1526   Bible (Tyndale) Acts xv. 33   After they hadde taryed there a certayne space.
1569   R. Grafton Chron. II. 259   He and his defended themselues..along space.
1572  (a1500)    Taill of Rauf Coilȝear (1882) 336   He kneillit doun in the place. Thankand God ane greit space.
1633   F. P. Verney & M. M. Verney Mem. Verney Family 17th Cent. (1907) I. 77   God hath afflicted you with many sad crosses within a short space.
1697   J. Dryden tr. Virgil Georgics iii, in tr. Virgil Wks. 99   Like Diligence requires the Courser's Race; In early Choice; and for a longer space .  
1719   in W. S. Perry Hist. Coll. Amer. Colonial Church: Virginia (1870) I. 219   For a considerable space no one could be heard.
1779   Mirror No. 8   After a space, I tired of walking by the Red Sea.
1815   W. Scott Guy Mannering III. xi. 214   I have allowed you a competent space to express your feelings. I must circumduce the term.
1833   Act 3 & 4 William IV c. 46 §80   For any space not exceeding thirty days.
1873   P. G. Hamerton Intellect. Life i. v. 28   The incompatibility..is often very marked if you look at small spaces of time only; but if you consider broader spaces, such as a lifetime, then the incompatibility is not so marked.
1923   P. G. Wodehouse Inimitable Jeeves xi. 125   Even Comrade Butt cast off his gloom for a space and immersed his whole being in scrambled eggs.
1951   ‘C. S. Forester’ Randall & River of Time (U.K. ed.) xix. 308   The interchange of glances between the warders down there; a pause for a space while it was decided into which cell he should be put.
2006   Church Times 13 Apr. 8/1   It happened to be a special season of the Christian year when we desire to put away, if only for a short space, all angry and discordant thoughts and words.

a1450—2006(Hide quotations)


b. A period of delay. Obsolete.

a1413  (c1385)    G. Chaucer Troilus & Criseyde (Pierpont Morgan) (1881) i. l. 505   But whanne he hadde a space fro his care, Thus to hym self full ofte he gan to pleyne.
▸ ?a1439   J. Lydgate Fall of Princes (Bodl. 263) i. l. 1240   They departid, made no lengere spacis,..And gan to chese hem newe duellyng placis.

a1413—?a1439(Hide quotations)


c. A spell of writing or narration. Obsolete. rare—1.

a1500  (?a1425)    Ipomedon (Harl.) (1889) l. 528 (MED)   Of chyld Ipomydon here is a space.

a1500—a1500(Hide quotations)

 II. Denoting area or extension.
 * General or unlimited extent.

 6. Linear distance; interval between two or more points, objects, etc.Frequently with some suggestion of sense 7.

c1350   Rabe Moyses (Rawl.) in Archiv f. das Studium der Neueren Sprachen (1901) 106 350 (MED)   Þat is also muche space As a mon sholde..In v hondred wyntur go.
a1393   J. Gower Confessio Amantis (Fairf.) vii. l. 676   Astronomie..makth a man have knowlechinge Of Sterres..And what betwen hem is of space.
c1475   Court of Sapience (Trin. Cambr.) (1927) l. 1996 (MED)   The erthes space, how long hit ys abowte..foure and twenty thowsand myle..In hys circuite he conteyneth.
a1535   T. More Dialoge of Comfort (1553) i. sig. A.ii   Neyther one fynger breadth of space, nor one minute of tyme from you.
1565   T. Cooper Thesaurus at Spatium   Aequali spatio distare, to be like space asunder.
a1616   W. Shakespeare Antony & Cleopatra (1623) ii. iii. 21   Therefore Make space enough betweene you.  
1667   J. Milton Paradise Lost vi. 104   'Twixt Host and Host but narrow space was left, A dreadful interval.  
1690   J. Locke Ess. Humane Understanding ii. xiii. 75   This Space considered barely in length between any two Beings, without considering any thing else between them, is called distance.
1733   S. Humphreys tr. N. A. Pluche Spectacle de la Nature I. ii. xiv. 210   There is much less Space between the Tree and the Earth of the upper Part of the Hill than there is between the same Tree and the Hill towards the Bottom.
1751   J. Harris Hermes i. vii. 100   Between London and Salisbury there is the Extension of Space.
1771   R. Berenger Hist. & Art Horsemanship I. 276   Leaving no more space between the hind quarters of the horse and the chariot, than was sufficient for the horse to move his hind legs clear of the carriage.
1808   C. Stower Printer's Gram. 161   Less space is required after a sloping letter than a perpendicular one.
1876   G. E. Voyle & G. de Saint-Clair-Stevenson Mil. Dict. (ed. 3) 394/1   Space,..the interval between troops when drawn up in line or column.
1892   A. Oldfield Pract. Man. Typogr. iii. 35   When space is required, a mark similar to a sharp in music should be made.
1926   Art Bull. 9 30   There is more space between the cheek pieces [of the helmet] and the top is decorated with two spirals.
1972   Times 2 Nov. 18/5   The 126 has five inches more space from the steering wheel to the rear seat backrest.
2007   Hobart Mercury (Nexis) 24 July 24   Why do many motorists not practise the most basic safety principles, such as leaving enough space between cars to stop in an emergency without hitting the vehicle in front?

c1350—2007(Hide quotations)


 a. Physical extent or area; extent in two or three dimensions.

a1387   J. Trevisa tr. R. Higden Polychron. (St. John's Cambr.) (1865) I. 51 (MED)   Affrica in his kynde haþ lasse space.
c1450   J. Capgrave Life St. Augustine (1910) 3 (MED)   Asia..conteyneth as mech in space as do þe othir too parties.
?c1450   Life St. Cuthbert (1891) l. 8130 (MED)   Crayke þai him gaue With thre myle space aboute to haue.
1542   T. Elyot Bibliotheca   Arduenna, a great wod in Gallia belgica, whiche taketh in space .500. myles.
1578   J. Banister Hist. Man v. f. 29 v   Those tendons are much lesse then they of inner side, and therfore (also) occupy lesse space.
a1616   W. Shakespeare Hamlet (1623) ii. ii. 257   I could..count my selfe a King of infinite space; were it not that I haue bad dreames.
1687   A. Lovell tr. J. de Thévenot Trav. into Levant ii. 78   Large Houses..which take up a great deal of space because of the spaciousness of the Gardens.
1728   E. Chambers Cycl.   Space, in Geometry, is the Area of any Figure.
1756   T. Amory Life John Buncle I. 182   The muscle contracts inwardly into its own dense substance, and takes up less space than before.
1780   J. Hanway Citizen's Monitor viii. 67   Will not this plan require so much space, as may invade the chapel, hall, court-room, and the houses lately built?
1815   J. Smith Panorama Sci. & Art II. 42   The more it is heated, the more space it takes up.
a1831   J. Stoddart Gram. in Encycl. Metrop. (1845) I. 7/1   We are so constituted, that we cannot conceive certain objects otherwise than as occupying space.
1863   Times 3 Nov. 7/4   The amount of space in each room and the drainage of the house were very satisfactory.
1945   Eng. Hist. Rev. 60 417   The wheels and machinery took up so much space that..the sea endurance was limited by the amount of coal that could be carried.
1999   Sydney Morning Herald (Nexis) 2 Oct. 1   Placed next to one another on a wall, the portraits took up a great deal of space.

a1387—1999(Hide quotations)


 b. Extent or area sufficient for a purpose, action, etc.; room to contain or do something. Also in extended use.

a1387   J. Trevisa tr. R. Higden Polychron. (St. John's Cambr.) (1869) II. 41 (MED)   Þis ilond Man conteyneþ as hit were tweie ilondes; þe firste..conteyneþ nyne hondred housholdes..Þe secounde conteyneþ þe space of þre hondred and moo.
a1413  (c1385)    G. Chaucer Troilus & Criseyde (Pierpont Morgan) (1881) i. l. 714   Certeynly nomore harde grace May sitte on me, for-whi þer is no space.
c1430  (c1386)    G. Chaucer Legend Good Women (Cambr. Gg.4.27) (1879) l. 1999   [He] hath bothe roum & space And wilde an ax or swerd.
?1528   La Conusaunce Damours sig. aivv   He stode betwene them louers twayne Nat openyng to them so moche space To come to gether, eche other to enbrace.
1573   T. Tusser Fiue Hundreth Points Good Husbandry (new ed.) f. 38   Leaue space & rome, to hillock to come.
a1616   W. Shakespeare Tempest (1623) i. ii. 495   Might I but through my prison once a day Behold this Mayd:..space enough Haue I in such a prison.  
1671   J. Milton Paradise Regain'd ii. 339   Our Saviour..beheld In ample space under the broadest shade A Table richly spred.  
1720   D. Defoe Mem. Cavalier 179   We halted within View of a Bridge, leaving Space enough on our Front for about half the Number of their Forces to pass and draw up.
1768   L. Sterne Sentimental Journey II. 198   They stood parallel, and so very close to each other as only to allow space for a small wicker chair betwixt them.
1842   Ld. Tennyson You ask me Why iv   Where..The strength of some diffusive thought Hath time and space to work and spread.
1869   J. G. Holland Kathrina 49   The foul demon who would drive my soul To crime that leaves no space for penitence!
1940   C. Morgan Voyage III. xi. 365   There was space for a sofa and a small armchair of red plush beside the broad, low windows.
1987   P. Angadi Highly Flavoured Ladies (1989) xxii. 252   She wanted to feel solitude and quiet, so that she could begin to allow her own thoughts space.
2004   Independent (Nexis) 14 May 11   There is no television or mini-bar and barely space to swing a cat.

a1387—2004(Hide quotations)


 c. Chiefly Scottish in early use. Extent or room in a letter, periodical, book, etc., available for, or occupied by, written or printed matter (cf. sense 11e). Chiefly in contexts of restricted extent.

c1480  (a1400)    Prol. l. 27 in W. M. Metcalfe Legends Saints Sc. Dial. (1896) I. 2   Þare-fore, in lytil space here, I wryt þe lyf of sanctis sere.
a1500   Ratis Raving (Cambr. Kk.1.5) l. 1099 in R. Girvan Ratis Raving & Other Early Scots Poems (1939) 31   Tak gud kep..to this pase, Fore here ar vrytin in lytill space Sum thingis that may help & sped.
c1530   Pol., Rel., & L. Poems (1866) 40   I write no more to you, for lacke of space.
1612   J. Brinsley Ludus Lit. iv. 34   If hee write more in a shorter space, then is in like space in the copice, he either makes his letters too little, or sets them too neere one another.
1645   E. W. Four Queries Resolved iv. 10   Touching his Prayer..I have not space to enlarge now; I adde this onely; That his prayer is the highest provocation of all that went before, and the greatest abhomination.
1697   J. Dryden tr. Virgil Georgics iv, in tr. Virgil Wks. 128   But streighten'd in my space, I must forsake This Task.  
1715   R. Thoresby Ducatus Leodiensis Pref. p. xvi   I shall conclude with the Explanation of the Abbreviations that are unavoidably made use of in the printed Pedegrees, for want of Space to contain the whole Matter.
1774   O. Goldsmith Hist. Earth II. 298   With a studied brevity, his system comprehends the greatest variety, in the smallest space.
1866   Chambers's Encycl. VIII. 7/2   Various expressive adjectives,..into the consideration of which our space will not permit us to enter.
1885   Encycl. Brit. XVIII. 165/1   In the marginal glosses, where it was an object to save space.
1892   Photogr. Ann. II. 279   Nothing has been omitted on the score of space.
1917   Times 15 Nov. 5/2   In typewritten matter the lines must be in ‘close order’, to save space and paper.
1970   H. T. Moore in C. A. Hoyt Minor Amer. Novelists Pref. p.xi   At this point—and I'm running out of space—I'm going to skip the next writer discussed in Mr. Hoyt's book.
2001   Educ. Researcher 30 18/1   There is insufficient space here to summarize all the varied data sources.

c1480—2001(Hide quotations)


 d. Room or available extent in a newspaper, periodical, etc., or on some other medium, which may be acquired for a specific purpose, esp. advertising (cf. sense 11e).

1878   Davenport Gaz. 1 Feb. 2/1   The Chicago Tribune proposes that its friends in Congress who have organized themselves into a corporation for the purpose of buying space in newspapers and otherwise influencing public opinion..shall style their association ‘The Silver League’.
1930   Economist 29 Nov. 1003/2   In advertising Britain is far behind America in buying space.
1950   Times 7 Feb. 5/5   In the last election, one company gave space to the Communist Party and the Commonwealth Party, but the main newsreels adhered to the general agreement that space should be given only to the main parties.
1989   Marketing 9 Mar. 20/4   Traditionally, people have advertised on radio because they lacked the budget for TV, or because with cinema you have to book space a year ahead.
2006   Washington Post (Nexis) 18 Jan. d1   Advertisers looking to connect with men in the 18–34 age bracket..could buy time on the appropriate radio stations and complement the exposure by buying space on Web sites that cater to the same age group.

1878—2006(Hide quotations)


 e. Computing. Virtual or electronic room for the storage of data. Frequently with modifying word.disk space, file space: see the first element.

1949   Math. Tables & Other Aids Computation 3 427   Most of the above [improvement in speed] is accomplished at the expense of memory space.
1962   H. D. Huskey & G. A. Korn Computer Handbk. xvii. 19   If memory space is not a problem the input information can be reduced to reasonable size by devising a generator code.
1991   Home Office Computing June 30/3   To save space..on-line services store many files in compressed formats.
2005   Computer Buyer May 117/1   Because spyware usually starts when your computer is booted, and runs in the background, it takes up space in your PC's memory and saps processing power.

1949—2005(Hide quotations)


 8. The expanse in which celestial objects are situated; the physical universe (excluding celestial objects) beyond the earth's atmosphere, consisting of near vacuum with small amounts of gas and dust. Frequently with modifying word.deep, inner, near, outer space, etc.: see the first element.

1582   Second Tome Homilies (new ed.) sig. Ss6   Consider the huge substance of ye earth... How could it so stand stably in ye space as it doth, if gods goodnes reserued it not so for us to trauel on.
1656   J. Evelyn Ess. 1st Bk. Lucretius 164   The rational Bruno..hath written an express and curious treatise, not onely to prove the Infinity of Space; but that even of worlds.
1667   J. Milton Paradise Lost i. 650   Space may produce new Worlds.  
1778   Ferguson's Astron. Explained (ed. 6) i. §4. 2   All the Stars..are placed at immense distances from one another through unlimited space.
1816   P. B. Shelley Dæmon of World in Alastor 99   Each [orb] with undeviating aim..through the depths of space Pursued its wondrous way.
1829   Chapters Physical Sci. 411   They recede so far from us, as to be lost in the immensity of space.
1870   R. A. Proctor Other Worlds than Ours ii. 36   Our earth is as a minute island placed within the ocean of space.
1901   H. G. Wells First Men in Moon iii. 45   After all, to go into outer space is not so much worse, if at all, than a polar expedition.
1924   R. Graves Mock Beggar Hall 40   May not Space be housing and sheltering millions of other beings like us, or different from us?
1959   Daily Tel. 23 Feb. 11/6   For the human body, space begins about 12 miles up, where there is not enough air left to burn a candle.
1977   D. Adams Hitch-hiker's Guide to Galaxy (1985) ii. 39   ‘Space’, it says, ‘is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is.’
2003   N.Y. Times (National ed.) 6 Nov. a18/1   Near the edge of the solar system..supersonic ‘winds’ of charged particles from the Sun collide with matter from interstellar space.

1582—2003(Hide quotations)


 9. Continuous, unbounded, or unlimited extent in every direction, without reference to any matter that may be present; this regarded as an attribute of the universe, describable mathematically (in modern science usually conflated with time: cf. space-time n. 1); (as a count noun) a mathematical construct or model of this.Traditionally regarded as having three dimensions, in contrast to the two dimensions of an area and the one dimension of a line.Euclidean, hyperbolic, non-Euclidean, parabolic space: see the first element. See also closed adj. Additions, open adj. 19c.

1629   T. Jackson Treat. Divine Essence ii. 56   The divine Essence by reason of its absolute infinity, hath an absolute necessity of coexistence with space or magnitude infinite.
1656   tr. T. Hobbes Elements Philos. ii. vii. 69   Space is the Phantasme of a Thing existing without the Mind simply.
1710   G. Berkeley Treat. Princ. Human Knowl. §111   For the rest, this celebrated author holds there is an absolute Space.
1715   J. Addison Spectator No. 565. ¶8   The noblest and most exalted Way of considering this infinite Space is that of Sir Isaac Newton, who calls it the Sensorium of the Godhead.
1734   J. Kirkby tr. I. Barrow Usefulness Math. Learning x. 176   Space is nothing else but the mere Power, Capacity, Ponibility, or..Interponibility of Magnitude.
1883   Proc. Royal Soc. 35 219   Of the three kinds of non-Euclidean space, that known as elliptic space has been chosen.
1892   B. F. Westcott Gospel of Life 184   All our conceptions are defined by conditions of time and space.
1897   B. Russell Ess. Found. Geom. ii. 93   Those who have done most to further non-Euclidean Geometry..have usually inherited from Newton a naïve realism as regards absolute space.
1899   Amer. Math. Monthly 6 227   The properties of hyperbolic and elliptic spaces.
1905   Mind 14 460   Our Euclidean space is only a special case of a space of an indefinite number of dimensions.
1922   H. L. Brose tr. H. Weyl Space—Time—Matter iv. 278   We conclude that space is closed and hence finite.
1967   Brit. Jrnl. Psychiatry 113 765/2   Kant maintained that the noumenal world contains neither space nor time nor causality.
1981   E. R. Harrison Cosmology vii. 149/1   Hyperbolic and spherical spaces, like Euclidean space, are uniform.
2007   Wired Apr. 36/1   The ordinary adult never bothers his head about the problems of space and time.

1629—2007(Hide quotations)


 10. The physical expanse which surrounds something; extent in all directions from a given point or object. Frequently with into or in (cf. into space at Phrases 4).

1805   Sporting Mag. Sept. 306/2   A candle when alight has the power to distribute its own particles into space for three miles round.
1827   M. Faraday Chem. Manip. xxiii. 573   It is with equal difficulty that they throw off their heat by radiation into space or to other bodies.
1885   C. Leudesdorf tr. L. Cremona Elements Projective Geom. 33   In the above the geometric forms are supposed to lie in space.
1927   Times 1 Jan. 9/3   Anyone who provided himself with the necessary [wireless] apparatus could emit into space what sounds he liked.
1945   Electronic Industries Sept. 226   Stabilization, a system for maintaining a radar beam in a desired direction in space despite the roll and pitch of the ship or aircraft.
1966   H. Moore On Sculpt. 149   He must make the object he draws capable of having a far side to it, that is, make it an object in space, not an object in relief.
1994   New Scientist 7 May 18/1   A typical wave is spread out, so it has no definite location in space, but it does have a direction of movement.
2004   Jrnl. Chem. Physics 121 1175   The time evolution of the initial plane wave packet provides a clear visualization of the scattering into space of the reaction products.

1805—2004(Hide quotations)

 ** Specific or limited extent.

 a. An area or extent delimited or determined in some way.

c1380   Sir Ferumbras (1879) l. 2247   Neymes..ȝyf him a strok ounride wiþ-inne þe neckes space.
c1400  (▸1391)    G. Chaucer Treat. Astrolabe (Cambr. Dd.3.53) (1872) i. §2. 4   This ring rennyth..in so Rowm a space þat hit desturbith nat the instrument.
1483   Catholicon Anglicum (BL Add. 89074) (1881) 351   Þe Space be-twene sculders.., jnterscapulum.
1530   J. Palsgrave Lesclarcissement 273/2   Space bytwene the eyes, entroeil.
1577   B. Googe tr. C. Heresbach Foure Bks. Husbandry i. f. 42   Leauing open a space for twoo doores.
1610   G. Markham Maister-peece ii. xxxvii. 274   In the spaces betwixt the draughts, make diuers holes.
1672   J. Dryden Conquest Granada i. v. i. 58   I cannot breath within this narrow space.
1706   Phillips's New World of Words (new ed.) at Vacuum Disseminatum   Small void Spaces spread about between the Particles of Bodies.
1728   E. Chambers Cycl. at Area   The Elliptic Space PSD being drawn equal to the other ASB.
1773   B. Gooch Med. & Chirurg. Observ. 21   The term birth signifies an inclosed space, or kind of apartment, made with canvas, for one seaman or more.
1827   M. Faraday Chem. Manip. vi. 177   Even the space left open round the neck may be closed when desirable.
1845   J. Lindley School Bot. (1854) 16   A viscid secreting space called the stigma.
1879   G. C. Harlan Eyesight iii. 37   The most sensitive portion is a small space directly in the line of vision, called the yellow spot.
1901   Times 22 Oct. 10/4   A broad road, lined on each side by fine trees, and divided midway by a circular space adorned with statuary.
1920   Musical Times Aug. 529/2   The League of Arts gave two performances..in a roped-off space between the Magazine and the Serpentine.
2005   News & Observer (Raleigh, N. Carolina) (Nexis) 22 Apr. (What's up section) 26   Viewers enter a small space defined by two facing banners.

c1380—2005(Hide quotations)


 b. A part or section marked off in some way from a larger area or extent; a division, section.

c1392   Equatorie of Planetis 26 (MED)   The owterest space is mynutis, & the nexte space is degres, & the thridde space is nombres of degres & the ferthe space is for names of signes.
a1398   J. Trevisa tr. Bartholomaeus Anglicus De Proprietatibus Rerum (BL Add. 27944) (1975) I. viii. xvi. 484   As þe cercle þat hatte zodiacus is distingurid in twelue spacis..so the cercle of the sonne is distingurid in xii. spaces.
c1400  (▸1391)    G. Chaucer Treat. Astrolabe (Cambr. Dd.3.53) (1872) i. §20. 11   Next thise azymutz..ben ther 12 deuysiouns embelif,..þat shewen the spaces of the howres of planetes.
1474   W. Caxton tr. Game & Playe of Chesse (1883) iv. ii. 166   He may not meue but in to one space or poynt.
1594   T. Blundeville Exercises vi. iii. f. 307v   Suppose the inside of your left thumbe to be diuided into three spaces.
1625   N. Carpenter Geogr. Delineated i. ix. 202   Spaces are portions in the Spheare bounded by the Parallell circles.
1669   S. Sturmy Mariners Mag. vii. xxix. 44   Take a short space of a Ruler or Transom, and saw in one side of it a Notch.
1694   tr. O. G. de Busbecq Four Epist. conc. Embassy into Turkey i. 31   Thus the Turks divide the day into four spaces.
1754   J. Barrow Suppl. New & Universal Dict.   Month Book..[is] divided into spaces.
1780   A. Young Tour Ireland (Dublin ed.) I. 213   There is a custom here called rundale, which is a division of their farms into spaces by balks.
1825   ‘J. Nicholson’ Operative Mechanic 129   Set those six spaces off upon a straight line for a base..; set off three spaces upon the perpendicular.
1874   Philos. Trans. 1873 (Royal Soc.) 163 1   The circle being divided into sixteen spaces, which are numbered consecutively from 0 to 15, and correspond respectively to the directions N., N.N.E., N.E., &c.
1938   Times 10 June 11/3   His history gallery was divided into 40 equal spaces, each representing a century.
2006   Times Educ. Suppl. (Nexis) 17 Nov. 50   My opponent slides the queen diagonally three spaces, ‘check mate’.

c1392—2006(Hide quotations)


 c. The volume or dimensional extent that is, or may be, occupied by a particular thing.In quots. ?a1425, c1475: an internal space or cavity in the body.

?a1425   tr. Guy de Chauliac Grande Chirurgie (N.Y. Acad. Med.) f. 33   Inscisioun..is mych to be dradde aboute þe wombe..for propinquite..of veynez..& þe inward spaciositee or space [?c1425 wydenesse; L. spatiositatis].
c1475  (▸1392)    Surg. Treat. in MS Wellcome 564 f. 44 (MED)   Þe Emunctorijs of þe lyuere & of þe ballokis..han wiþinne hem a myche space in þe which is spoungious fleisch, þenne & kirnelly.
1530   J. Palsgrave Lesclarcissement 273/2   Space of ones body, corpsage.
1599   J. Davies Nosce Teipsum 23   All bodies haue their measure, and their space.
1675   R. Burthogge Cavsa Dei 28   Some of the Platonists..affirmed that the Place of Hell was all that space between the Moon..and This.
1715   tr. D. Gregory Elements Astron. II. v. §3. 702   That all the Air..is compress'd into the Space ABZX.
1767   J. Abercrombie Every Man his Own Gardener 21   Fill the space between the ball and the sides of the pot, with the above earth.
1828   C. Lamb Old Margate Hoy in Elia 2nd Ser. 35   The things do not fill up that space, which the idea of them seemed to take up in his mind.
1842   J. C. Loudon Suburban Horticulturist 193   If we..take the space rendered opaque by the wood at 21 per cent.
1937   Times 5 Oct. 11/3   Second-class accommodation is particularly good, improvements having been brought about by reducing the space occupied by the machinery.
1987   R. Frame Woman of Judah 296   Everything I own, that I have to my name, can be fitted into the space of one carry-all.
2000   Reader's Digest Oct. 70/2   A split-second later, an icy reeking mixture of water and heating fuel rushed through gaps above Stuart's head, filling the small space.

?a1425—2000(Hide quotations)


 d. An empty place or part; a void; a gap.

1654   W. Charleton Physiologia Epicuro-Gassendo-Charltoniana i. v. 47   In all common motions of bodies through the liberal aer, there is left a Space behind, into which the parts of the aer may instantly circulate, and deliver themselves from compression.
1678   T. Hobbes Decameron Physiologicum iii. 25   They cannot be parted except the Air..can enter and fill the space made by their diremption.
a1731   P. Aubin Noble Slaves in Coll. Entertaining Hist. & Novels (1739) I. 3   The Hut was built of Boughs of Trees, and Hurdles made with Canes to fill the Spaces.
1773   Art of tanning & currying Leather 144   The woman sews the tail part, leaving a space for the entrance of the copper neck of a wooden funnel.
1837   P. Keith Bot. Lexicon 95   The..rudiment of the future seed, not yet inclosing a space.
a1854   H. Reed Lect. Eng. Lit. (1855) iv. 140   His human heart had large spaces to hold his fellow-beings in.
1888   G. Rolleston & W. H. Jackson Forms Animal Life (ed. 2) 131   The cilia..cause the currents of water to flow..into the interlamellar spaces.
1907   Washington Post 6 June 6/7   A horse has forty-four teeth, and God left a space between the molars and pre-molars..for man to insert a steel bit.
1955   R. Lindner Fifty-minute Hour 233   She died suddenly when he was six years old, and the space in his life left by her death was never filled.
1998   Jrnl. Herpetol. 32 117/1   The cranial and caudal halves of a sclerotome are separated by a space or cavity, the sclerocoel.

1654—1998(Hide quotations)


 e.  (a) A portion of a page, form, etc., available for or occupied by written or printed matter (cf. sense 7c);  (b) a portion of a page (in a newspaper, etc.) available for a specific purpose, esp. advertising (cf. sense 7d); (now also) a portion of broadcasting time available for a similar purpose; a section of a billboard, website, or similar medium.advertising space: see the first element.

1657   A. B. tr. J. Buxtorf Jewish Synagogue ix. 127   These last words are in many Copies left out, by reason of an injunction laide upon the Printers by the Christian Magistrate, an empty space being left [L. spatio interim vacuo relicto], that they may either write them, or else inquire what is wanting.
1793   J. Whitehead Life J. Wesley I. i. vi. 344   Unfortunately the letter was not transcribed into the Journal, a blank space being left for it.
1797   Evangelical Mag. Apr. 160   A wish to remove a little of the odium his memory lies under on that account, induces me to beg a small space in your valuable Magazine for the following quotation.
1833   P. Hone Diary 7 Jan. (1889) I. 71   The poetry [is] a mere makeweight, written apparently just to fill up such a space on such a page.
1900   Times 22 Aug. 4/3   I can find no better means of doing so [sc. expressing gratitude to the postal service] than by asking the favour of a space for this letter in the columns of The Times.
1908   E. Fowler Between Trent & Ancholme 21   Leaving a space for his own name.
1952   L. W. Fox Eng. Prison & Borstal Syst. 167   There is a space on the form on which the prisoner can make a written reply if he wishes.
1956   B.B.C. Handbk. 1957 78   Plays from the West End..are often heard in the more ‘popular’ programme spaces.
1972   Sci. Amer. Feb. 114/1   Kant's own book was discussed in this space a couple of years ago from the paper-back edition issued by the University of Michigan Press.
1983   Financial Times (Nexis) 22 Nov. 15   A free-for-all in advertising could arise with firms taking large spaces in newspapers to advertise their services.
1989   J. D. Sutherland Fairbairn's Journey vi. 149   Fairbairn cannot easily discuss theoretical criticisms in a short space.
2007   Sunday Mirror (Nexis) 30 May 19   Larger advertising hoardings and spaces on bus shelters cost between €500 and €5,000 for the run-up to polling day.

1657—2007(Hide quotations)


 f. Any one of a limited number of places in which a person or thing may be accommodated.

1840   S. Wilderspin Infant Syst. (ed. 7) xi. 229   The tablet below the balls has six spaces for the insertion of brass letters and figures.
1907   N.E.D. at Place sb. 13 a   A space at table.
1958   M. L. King Stride toward Freedom v. 86   By the time the meeting started, virtually every space was taken, and hundreds often overflowed into the streets.
1968   R. V. Beste Repeat Instr. xiii. 140   He put the car in the garage... He chose a space at street level.
1985   D. Johnson Fiskadoro iii. 78   There were no spaces on the flights.
1998   Courier-Jrnl. (Louisville, Kentucky) 21 Dec. c10/2   More spaces seem to be set aside for people with disabilities, but the number of disability permits seems high and competition can be keen.

1840—1998(Hide quotations)


 g. Originally U.S. A room or specific area within a building, esp. considered in terms of its function or architectural qualities.

1921   V. O. Vogt Art & Relig. xix. 184   The whole amazing space is clear to the eye as one steps through the inner portals of the narthex.
1969   Valley News (Van Nuys, Calif.) 9 Mar.   Hardly a home exists which does not have an architecturally awkward space... In an apartment it is apt to be a long narrow hall.
1981   N.Y. Times (Nexis) 8 Feb. d33/1   You have a great space to work with. You have an eager staff to help you along.
1999   D. Macaulay Building Bk. Cathedral 15   I found myself alone in an amazing space... I just sat in one of the wooden chairs and stared upward, mentally dismantling the stonework above me.
2007   Guardian (Nexis) 4 Sept. (Features section) 28   The Olivier Theatre has more volume,..which is perhaps why it is a notoriously tricky space.

1921—2007(Hide quotations)

 a. A particular stretch, extent, or area of ground, surface, sky, etc.; an expanse. Also figurative. Cf. open space n.

 (a) Without complement.

a1382   Bible (Wycliffite, E.V.) (Bodl. 959) (1961) Josh. xvii. 18   Bote þo shalt passe to þe hul,..& purge spacis to dwelle [L. ad habitandum spatia].
c1400  (?a1300)    Kyng Alisaunder (Laud) (1952) l. 7146 (MED)   On a pleyne he cheseþ a place Þat biclippeþ a mychel space.
?a1475  (?a1425)    tr. R. Higden Polychron. (Harl. 2261) (1865) I. 51   Þerfore men..folowede not the measures of spaces but reasones of diuision.
1565   T. Cooper Thesaurus at Spatium   Great and large spaces in wide roomes.
1577   B. Googe tr. C. Heresbach Foure Bks. Husbandry i. f. 42   Though the Corne be laide..in the floores, yet let there be a space left in the middest.
1592   T. Tymme Plaine Discouerie Ten Eng. Lepers C ij   In religion there is both a centre and a space.
1600   J. Pory tr. J. Leo Africanus Geogr. Hist. Afr. App. 368   In which space is comprehended the fairest, fruitfullest,..and most ciuill part of all Africk.
1651   T. Hobbes Leviathan ii. xxi. 107   The water..that otherwise would spread it selfe into a larger space.
1715   tr. D. Gregory Elements Astron. I. i. §71. 154   The Stars.., if they were ever more than seventeen in this Space, pass'd away into Comets.
1794   A. Radcliffe Myst. of Udolpho IV. xii. 249   The space around the building was silent, and apparently forsaken.
1812   Ld. Byron Childe Harold: Cantos I & II i. lxxii. 44   The lists are op'd, the spacious area clear'd,..Ne vacant space for lated wight is found.
1856   N. Brit. Rev. 26 57   These free spaces are found as well within the Established Church, as among the dissident bodies.
1878   R. Browning La Saisiaz 6   No blue space in its outspread..challenged my emerging head.
1925   Proc. Amer. Philos. Soc. 64 75   New Mexico with its ‘deserts’ and sage brush and wide-open spaces.
1981   G. Swift Shuttlecock v. 36   We are looking for a space where we can be free, where we cannot be reached, where we are masters.
2005   Derby Evening Telegraph (Nexis) 29 July 42   At first the approach is narrow and Georgian, but widens into a broad space in which you suddenly get the arresting sight of the west front of the cathedral all at once.

a1382—2005(Hide quotations)


 (b) With of.

1521   B. Anslay tr. C. De Pisan Cyte of Ladyes xxxvii. sig. Mmviv   Europe whiche conteyneth a grete partye & space of the erthe vseth of these letters.
1565   T. Cooper Thesaurus   Raucus tractus, a long space of the sea makynge an hoarse noyse.
1589   A. Fleming tr. Virgil Eclogs iii. 10 in A. Fleming tr. Virgil Bucoliks   O Menalc tell me in what ground, a space of heauen appeeres.
a1616   W. Shakespeare Julius Caesar (1623) iv. ii. 77   Shall we..sell the mighty space of our large Honors For so much trash.  
1665   T. Manley tr. H. Grotius De Rebus Belgicis 797   Taking into their Works..a great space of Ground without the Town.
1693   C. Blount Oracles of Reason viii. 75   We must..suppose..that Chaos from whence it arose, not to have been universal or diffused over the vast spaces of the Heavens, but contained within the aforesaid bounds.
1708   J. Philips Cyder i. 459   Sailing the Spaces of the boundless Deep.
1724   J. Maubray Female Physician vi. 19   She [sc. the moon] is not idle or decidious in accomplishing her monthly Cause, and measuring her own Space of the Heavens.
1746   P. Francis & W. Dunkin tr. Horace Satires ii. vi. 204   And now the Night, elaps'd Eleven, Possess'd the middle Space of Heaven.
1819   P. B. Shelley Rosalind & Helen 50   And then I sunk in his embrace, Enclosing there a mighty space Of love.
1832   Ld. Tennyson Lady of Shalott i, in Poems (new ed.) 9   Four gray towers Overlook a space of flowers.
1891   F. W. Farrar Darkness & Dawn II. xxxvii. 40   The graffito scrawled upon every blank space of wall in Rome.
1908   E. F. Benson Climber 87   Beyond lay the dark grey spaces of the downs, and beyond, again, a brightness as of molten amber suffused the sky above the lights of Brixham.
1987   R. Godden Time to Dance (1989) 94   Old Calcutta was built around the Maidan, a vast flat space of green.
1995   Advertiser (Adelaide) (Nexis) 22 Nov.   The facade has a moulded gable—a broad space of rendered wall under curved barge-boards.

1521—1995(Hide quotations)


 (c) In plural. The heavens; the skies; the firmament. Cf. sense 8. Now rare (chiefly poetic).

1561   J. Heywood tr. Seneca Hercules Furens iv. sig. I8   To spaces hygh I wyll bee borne of hawghtye skyes about.
1665   G. Havers & J. Davies tr. Another Coll. Philos. Conf. French Virtuosi clxxxiv. 301   Those higher spaces which are void of all heat.
1703   M. Chudleigh Song of Three Children in Poems Several Occasions 6   Those immense Spaces which no Limits know, Where purest Æther unconfin'd doth flow.
a1822   P. B. Shelley Prol. To Hellas in Relics (1862) 7   The senate of the Gods is met, Each in his rank and station set; There is silence in the spaces.
1871   B. Taylor tr. J. W. von Goethe Faust II. i. i. 7   But if there burst from those eternal spaces A flood of flame, we stand confounded ever.
1908   M. J. Cawein Poems II. 458   Ye in your darkness are Dark and infernal;..But in the spaces far, Like our effulgent star, We are eternal.

1561—1908(Hide quotations)


b. A particular place or location; (also) an assigned or appropriate position (cf. place n.1 12a). Frequently with possessive adjective. Obsolete.

?a1400  (a1338)    R. Mannyng Chron. (Petyt) ii. 277 (MED)   Þe Scottis had no grace to spede in þer space, for to mend þer nisse [read misse].
c1400  (?c1380)    Patience 365 (MED)   Þis speche sprang in þat space and spradde alle aboute To borges and to bacheleres.
a1450  (▸1408)    tr. Vegetius De Re Militari (Douce) f. 24 (MED)   How fiȝteres moot ben y-tauȝt to kepe wel her space [v.r. spaces; L. ordines] in goyng, in stondyng, and rydinge when þe scheltrun is ysette.
c1450   J. Capgrave Solace of Pilgrims (Bodl. 423) (1911) 1 (MED)   He him selue laboured..to knowe þe spaces and þe townes þer þe holy patriarches dwelt.
c1475   Wisdom (Folg.) (1969) 719 (MED)   Fayer speche and falsehede in on space ys.
?a1525  (?a1475)    Play Sacrament l. 461 in N. Davis Non-Cycle Plays & Fragm. (1970) 72   Take yowr [read owr] space, And looke owr daggarys be sharpe and kene.
a1616   W. Shakespeare Antony & Cleopatra (1623) i. i. 36   Let..the wide Arch Of the raing'd Empire fall: Heere is my space .  

?a1400—a1616(Hide quotations)


 c. The physical or mental sphere within which a person lives or operates; a notional region private to an individual within which he or she feels comfortable or unrestricted; (also ) a mental position or state of mind. Cf. personal space n. 1b.

1976   New Times (N.Y.) 19 Mar. 36/1   Werner Erhard, through est, has created the ‘space’ for them to ‘be’ and given them the ‘opportunity’ to ‘take responsibility’ for their lives.
1976   Newsweek 6 Sept. 59/1   Est trainees are shown how to create an inner ‘space’ into which each of them can retreat and immerse himself in his own consciousness... Est graduates are taught to grant other people the space to create their own experiences.
1977   C. McFadden Serial (1978) iii. 13/2   Leonard had a lot going for him otherwise, and Kate liked the space he was in.
1980   G. B. Trudeau Tad Overweight   Seriously, I think I know where you're coming from, and I'd like to share that space.
1981   Gossip (Holiday Special) 31/3   The reason why I can say that so boldly is because they give me my space. They let me be me.
1999   A. Wheatle Brixton Rock 135   Yeah, I'll see you around... You're all right but I need my space, you know.

1976—1999(Hide quotations)


 a. A linear distance; an interval between two or more points, objects, etc.

a1382   Bible (Wycliffite, E.V.) (Bodl. 959) (1959) Gen. xxxii. 16   Go ȝe befor me, & be þer a space [L. spatium] bytwyx flock & flock.
1481–90   in Manners & Househ. Expenses Eng. (1841) 200   The space to be a fote and halffe betwene the stodes.
a1500  (?c1300)    Bevis of Hampton (Chetham) 1130 (MED)   Beues rode..Towarde the cite of Damas; That was a ffull ffeyre space.
c1515   Ld. Berners tr. Bk. Duke Huon of Burdeux (1882–7) lviii. 198   He was a grete space before all his company.
1585   T. Washington tr. N. de Nicolay Nauigations Turkie iii. viii. 82   [They] go backwarde a certeine space.
1604   E. Grimeston tr. J. de Acosta Nat. & Morall Hist. Indies i. vi. 20   The firme land runnes an infinite space.
1634   T. Herbert Relation Some Yeares Trauaile 29   The space from one Boa [= buoy] to another, is an hundred paces or more.
1661   Princess Cloria v. 550   He retired him a certain space from the multitude.
1715   L. Theobald tr. Aristophanes Clouds i. i. 12   They without any trouble measur'd the space of her Leap.
1768   H. Brooke Fool of Quality (Dublin ed.) III. xvi. 163   This put them into some Confusion, and they sheered off a little Space.
1810   W. Scott Let. May–June (1932) II. 348   It corresponds..very commonly with the proper and usual space between comma and comma.
1842   T. C. Thornton Mod. Cabinet Arts 159   An appreciable difference in the space which separates the stars.
1862   Times 27 Jan. 7/2   This thoroughfare is nearly a quarter of a mile in length, the space from one house to that opposite being not more than 12ft.
1934   Amer. Midland Naturalist 15 197   The lower incisors..have grown to a length of 55 mm., but their alignment is correct and normal, though the space between them is a trifle wide.
2007   Plain Dealer (Cleveland, Ohio) (Nexis) 6 July 54   The space between the trees or poles should be one foot longer than the length of the hammock.

a1382—2007(Hide quotations)


 b. With of (a specific distance). Also with preceding genitive.

a1382   Bible (Wycliffite, E.V.) (Bodl. 959) (1959) Gen. xxx. 36   Laban..putte a space [L. spatium] of þre days wey by twyxen hem & his douter hosbond.
1482   Indenture in Acts Parl. Scotl. (1875) XII. 32/2   He sal nocht cum..to þe space of sex myle neir þe place.
a1500  (?a1425)    Ipomedon (Harl.) (1889) l. 1466 (MED)   He had not slepyd but a while, Not the space of a myle.
1542   Dyalogue Defensyue for Women sig. Aiiiv   Sodaynly within the space of a myle An Arbour moste pleasaunt, there I espyde.
1581   T. Nicholas tr. A. de Zárate Discov. & Conquest Peru iii. f.27   The Gouernour proceeded forwarde for the space of two Leagues.
1627   Reg. Privy Council Scott. 2nd Ser. VIII. 402   He wes caryed doun in the streame thairof aboue ane pair of buttis speace.
1648   Earl of Monmouth tr. G. Gualdo Priorato Hist. Late Warres vi. 182   For three miles space the ground was covered with dead Carkasses.
1677   Earl of Orrery Treat. Art of War 92   Between every 5 or 6 Hutts of the Troopers File, they usually leave a space of 4 or 5 foot, for the Troopers to pass from their Street, to their Horses Hutts.
1725   G. Odingsells Bath Unmask'd iv. xiv. 76   I was stretched along in my Tabernacle (distant from this Place, the space of twelve Miles).
1767   B. Gooch Pract. Treat. Wounds I. 301   Cut through to the leather, leaving the space of ½ an inch.
1806   Med. & Physical Jrnl. 15 226   I found the instrument [sc. a catheter] advance suddenly for the space of half an inch, but on with~drawing the stillette, nothing but a few drops of blood followed.
1873   L. Beach Cornwall 99   The Mountain House consists of two large buildings, detached until recently by a space of about 300 feet.
1901   Times 23 Feb. 13/5   The arrangement by which a space of five yards..had to be crossed by men carrying power barrels, with hobnailed boots, was not so safe as it might be.
2006   Bath Chron. (Nexis) 29 Sept. 3   I've just driven into work and in the space of five miles, I've spotted three drivers with mobile phones clasped to their ears.

a1382—2006(Hide quotations)


c. A short distance. Obsolete.

1609   T. Heywood Troia Britanica xi. 287   His Sonne Sarpedon of the Troian race..Next whom Eusemus sat, distant a space.
1622  (?a1513)    W. Dunbar Poems (Reidpeth) (1998) I. 241   Thane com the ladyis danceing in ane trece, And Nobilnes befoir thame come ane space.
1770   H. Brooke Fool of Quality V. 11   The old Man, then, respectfully withdrawing a Space, I don't know you, my sweet Master, said he.
1813   W. Scott Rokeby i. 11   Now Oswald stood a space aside.
1836   J. H. Newman Parochial Serm. III. vii. 105   He did not merely approach a space, and then stand as a coward.
a1872   T. B. Read House by Sea ii. iii, in Poet. Wks. (1883) 216   She..withdrew a space, to admire The beautiful collar of floral fire.

1609—a1872(Hide quotations)


14. Course, custom, procedure. Obsolete. rare.

c1400  (?c1380)    Cleanness (1920) l. 755   I schal my þro steke, & spare spakly of spyt in space of my þewez.
c1405  (c1387–95)    G. Chaucer Canterbury Tales Prol. (Hengwrt) (2003) l. 176   This ilke Monk leet oolde thynges pace And heeld after the newe world the space.

c1400—c1405(Hide quotations)


 15. Music. Any one of the intervals between the lines of a stave.

a1450   Musical Treat. in Speculum (1935) 10 262   But, as for 13e & 15e, þer is no sight be-neþe þe plainsong with-in 4 rwlis & 4 spacis þat wil serue it, but yf ye chonge your sight.
c1475   Court of Sapience (Trin. Cambr.) (1927) 2074 (MED)   Mynute, crochet, in rewle and eke in space, All thys she [sc. Dame Musica] taught.
?1527   J. Skelton Agaynste Comely Coystrowne   Ask wher he fyndyth among hys monacordys. An holy water clarke a ruler of lordys. He can not fynd it in rule nor in space.
1562   T. Sternhold et al. Whole Bk. Psalmes sig. ✠iiiv   Some of the kayes be set in lines or rules, and other are set in spaces betwene the lines.
1597   T. Morley Plaine & Easie Introd. Musicke 4   You must then recken downe from the Cliefe,..assigning to euerie space and rule a seuerall Keye.
1609   J. Dowland tr. A. Ornithoparchus Micrologus ii. ix. 52   A Rest, ascending from the line to the middle of the space, betokens a Minime, or a sigh.
1654   J. Playford Breefe Introd. Skill Musick i. 3   The Gam-ut is drawne upon foureteene Rules, and their Spaces.
1680   A. B. Synopsis Vocal Mus. xii. 20   The primary containing signs are the Systemes, which by their five joyned parallel lines, and spaces between them whereof they do consist, assign and afford to the Cliffs their due higher or lower places.
1728   E. Chambers Cycl. at Staff   Each Line and Space he [sc. Guido Aretino] mark'd at the beginning of the Staff with Gregory's Seven Letters.
1782   F. Burney Cecilia V. x. x. 387   All that torment of first and second position, and E upon the first line, and F upon the first space!
1848   E. F. Rimbault First Bk. Pianoforte 15   The additional lines and spaces above and below the staff.
1883   G. Grove Dict. Music III. 647/2   The spaces in the treble stave make the word face.
1924   P. C. Buck Scope of Music i. 19   Increase the 250 [vibrations per second] to 500, and the note changes to the octave higher, i.e. C in the third space of the treble stave.
1942   Musical Q. 28 207   Morley begins by marking, on the lines and spaces of the great stave, a series of what he calls ‘notes’.
2001   Galpin Society Jrnl. 54 157   It is Guido of Arezzo..who is credited with the first use of a system of pitch notation..which places the diatonic notes of a scale on alternate lines and spaces.

a1450—2001(Hide quotations)


 a. In a text: an interval or blank between words, lines, etc.; (Typography) any of several intervals or blanks of varying widths used to separate words, justify lines, etc. Now also (in an electronic or typewritten text): an interval or blank equivalent to one character, which may be produced by pressing a specific key (cf. space bar n. at Compounds 4).letter, line space, etc.: see the first element.

1565   T. Cooper Thesaurus   Interductus, A space betweene full sentences in writyng or printing.
1676   J. Moxon Regulæ Trium Ordinum 7   The Distance between one word and another is called a Space.
1706   Phillips's New World of Words (new ed.) at Blank   A void space in Writing.
1791   J. Boswell Life Johnson anno 1748 I. 102   The words..having been first written down with spaces left between them, he delivered in writing their etymologies [etc.].
1849   J. Craig New Universal Dict.   Leads..[do] not make any impression in printing, but leave a white space where placed.
1882   Jrnl. Amer. Oriental Soc. 11 390   Where not otherwise indicated, the spaces between the words are of my own making.
1892   A. Oldfield Pract. Man. Typogr. ii. 26   There are five kinds of spaces: the en quadrat; thick space..; middle or 4-em spaces..; thin or 5-em spaces..; and hair spaces.
1914   Times 6 Apr. 10/1   A line consists of 56 letters counting spaces between words and punctuation marks as letters.
1956   D. J. Lloyd & H. R. Warfel Amer. Eng. in its Cultural Setting vi. xxv. 414   The period,..unless it ends a paragraph, never stands alone; it is followed by a space and a capital letter.
1979   J. D. Fletcher in L. B. Resnick & P. A. Weaver Theory & Pract. Early Reading II. xi. 258   He or she then typed a space followed with his or her first name and another space.
2006   Evening Standard (Nexis) 18 May 38   Not that I'm much of a judge, having once ordered ‘pageone’ in a trattoria under the impression it was a new kind of pasta, when it was actually a missing space between ‘page’ and ‘one’ on the menu.

1565—2006(Hide quotations)


 b. Typography. Any of certain small pieces of cast-metal of various thicknesses used to produce a blank or interval in a text. Cf. quad n.1, quadrat n. 2.thin space: see thin adj., n., and adv. Compounds 1b.

1683   J. Moxon Mech. Exercises II. 215   Thin-spaces being..Cast only that the Compositer may Justifie his Lines the Truer.
1732   S. Palmer Gen. Hist. Printing ii. ii. 123   They likewise invented such variety of spaces, as kept a beautiful distance between the words and made their impressions appear with the greatest neatness and exactness.
1771   P. Luckombe Hist. & Art of Printing 279   The Dutch..cast the greatest part of their Spaces to thiner sized than most Compositors care for.
1808   C. Stower Printer's Gram. 161   Spaces are cast to such a regular gradation, that no excuse can be offered..for irregular spacing.
1889   Science 25 Jan. 57/1   When movable types are used..the compositor, when the line is nearly completed, puts thicker or thinner spaces between the words.
1904   T. L. De Vinne Mod. Methods Bk. Composition i. 11   The lower case has fifty four boxes, which contain the lower-case characters, figures, points, spaces, and quadrats.
1963   W. C. Kenneison & A. J. B. Spilman Dict. Printing 92   High quads (or spaces), spaces cast to the height of the shoulder of type.
2000   A. Campbell Designer's Lexicon 169   Space, a ‘blank’ (nonprinting) spacer piece, used singly or in multiples, to create the spaces in text.

1683—2000(Hide quotations)


 c. Telecommunications. An interval between consecutive marks in a mark–space signalling system such as telegraphy. Opposed to mark n.1 19b.

1840   S. F. B. Morse U.S. Patent 1647 2/1   Signs of letters consist in variations of the dots, marks, and dots and lines, and spaces of separation of the same formation as compose the signs of numerals.
1859   T. P. Shaffner Telegr. Man. xxxiv. 469   The length of the mark or of the space upon the ribbon paper will be precisely the same as the length of the contact made with the key.
1906   A. E. Kennelly Wireless Telegr. xi. 153   A dash has the length of three dots, and the space separating dots or dashes in a letter are [sic] of dot length.
1954   Electronic Engin. 26 230/1   The principle..is to explore the centre of each received signal element..to determine whether it is ‘mark’ or ‘space’, and use the information so obtained to initiate new signals of correct length.
1993   F. H. Hinsley in F. H. Hinsley & A. Stripp Codebreakers xviii. 142   Very accurate timing was required if their unbroken stream of elements was to be divided correctly into their components of mark and space.

1840—1993(Hide quotations)


 17. Mathematics. An instance of any of various mathematical concepts, usually regarded as a set of points having some specified structure. Usually with distinguishing word.function, Hilbert, metric, phase, projective, topological, vector space, etc.: see the first element.

1900   Amer. Jrnl. Math. 22 336   One speaks of the geometries of metric space, of unilateral and bilateral projective space.
1911   Trans. Amer. Math. Soc. 12 287   It is not always necessary to set up a definition of distance for the Hilbert space; for other domains of objects to do so might be very difficult or even impossible.
1932   M. H. Stone Linear Transformations in Hilbert Space i. 1   The word ‘space’ has gradually acquired a mathematical significance so broad that it is virtually equivalent to the word ‘class’, as used in logic.
1963   G. F. Simmons Introd. Topol. & Mod. Anal. i. 5   When some kind of algebraic or geometric structure is imposed on a set, so that its elements are organized into a systematic whole, then it becomes a space.
2006   P. Woit Not even Wrong xvii. 241   These fluxes are generalisations of magnetic fields to higher dimensions, with the fields trapped by the topology of the Calabi–Yau space.

1900—2006(Hide quotations)



Phrases and proverbs.

P1. out of space: out of proper place or relationship; in confusion. Cf. sense 12b. Obsolete. rare—1.

a1393   J. Gower Confessio Amantis (Fairf.) iv. l. 679 (MED)   Min herte..Som time of hire is sore adrad, And som time it is overglad, Al out of reule and out of space.

a1393—a1393(Hide quotations)


 a. (for) a space : for a short period of time; for a while. Cf. sense 5a. Now rare.

c1405  (c1385)    G. Chaucer Knight's Tale (Hengwrt) (2003) l. 2118   Theseus abiden hath a space Er any word cam from his wise brest.
a1450   York Plays (1885) 115   A starne to be schynyng a space.
c1530   A. Barclay Egloges iii. sig. N   Ellys must he ryse and walke hymselfe a space.
1548   Hall's Vnion: Henry VIII f. ccxxxviiiv   She with all the Ladyes entered the tentes, and there warmed them a space.
1574   J. Higgins 1st Pt. Mirour for Magistrates Cordila f. 50v   If I departed for a space withall.
1655   in W. B. Cook Stirling Antiquary (1900) II. 18   The session..suspends the sd William from his eldership for a space.
?1690   T. Watson in C. H. Spurgeon Treasury of David (1886) VII. Ps. cxxxvii. 1   The other leaves..for a space hang down their heads.
1720   A. Pope tr. Homer Iliad V. xviii. 389   Yet a space I stay, Then swift pursue thee on the darksome way.
1767   H. Hartson Countess of Salisbury v. 64   I wou'd have fled, but horror for a space Suspended every power.
1815   W. Scott Lord of Isles v. xxxiii. 216   He paused a space, his brow he cross'd.
1877   ‘H. A. Page’ T. De Quincey: Life & Writings I. ii. 26   Meantime deep peace fell for a space on the family.
1883   Longman's Mag. July 270   Knights!..leave him lying here a space.
1930   Africa 3 216   I have made a trial of them and waited a space and thought it over.
1972   Times Lit. Suppl. 22 Dec. 1561/5   There they simmer down for a space, forget their mundane cares.

c1405—1972(Hide quotations)


  space of time   n. a period of time.

c1500   Melusine (1895) 335 (MED)   He came to Nerbonne where he rested hym a lytel space of tyme.
1565   T. Cooper Thesaurus at Intercapedo   After a space of time.
1657   A. Sparrow Rationale Bk. Common Prayer (1661) 244   A good space of time to do it in.
1796   F. Burney Camilla I. ii. xiv. 371   To avoid them and their communications, for however short a space of time, was now her sole aim.
1880   A. H. Sayce Introd. Sci. of Lang. I. 230   The number of the vibrations in any given space of time.
1926   People's Home Jrnl. Feb. 18/1   We want to accomplish as much as possible in the shortest space of time.
2004   Jockey Slut Feb. 92/2   I've never learnt so much in such a short space of time.

c1500—2004(Hide quotations)


 c. (in the) mean space (see mean adj.2 2).


d. in space comes grace (cf. grace n. 5). Obsolete.

[a1536   H. Newton in Publ. Mod. Lang. Assoc. Amer. 65 (1950) 269   In space comes fortune and grace.]
1546   J. Heywood Dialogue Prouerbes Eng. Tongue i. iv. sig. B   In space comth grace.
a1556   N. Udall Ralph Roister Doister (?1566) iii. iii. sig. E.jv   Good happe is not hastie: yet in space comth grace.
1628   Z. Boyd Last Battell Soule ii. 186   The seedes of grace are like Corne, they are not ripe the first day they are sowen, but ripen by degrees: From this is that saying, Grace requyreth space, or in space commeth Grace.
1694   J. Strype Memorials T. Cranmer App. 214   This being natural unto al that be in jeopardie of liffe..at the least to have tyme al desire: followeng that proverb, In space comyth grace.

1546—1694(Hide quotations)


P3. from space to space: at (regular) intervals. Cf. sense 13. Obsolete.

1658   J. Evelyn tr. N. de Bonnefons French Gardiner 244   You shall rail the bed about (as I directed you concerning Salsifix) or else stake them from space to space, to which you shall tie them up.
1700   Philos. Trans. (Royal Soc.) 22 673   It is divided from space to space into rings.
1763   J. Mills New Syst. Pract. Husbandry IV. 368   To hang upon the vines, from space to space (the nearer the better), phials half filled with sugared water.
1814   W. Scott Waverley I. ix. 114   A heavy balustrade, ornamented from space to space with huge grotesque figures of animals.  
1831   W. Scott Count Robert vi, in Tales of my Landlord 4th Ser. II. 150   A long,..arched passage, well supplied with air from space to space.
1873   W. D. Howells Chance Acquaintance iii. 73   It is sheer rock, springing from the black water, and stretching upward with a weary, effort-like aspect, in long impulses of stone marked by deep seams from space to space.

1658—1873(Hide quotations)


 P4. figurative. into space: into oblivion; completely out of sight or existence. Cf. sense 10.

1837   T. Carlyle French Revol. I. i. i. 7   All Dubarrydom rushes off, with tumult, into infinite Space.
1873   A. Helps Some Talk about Animals & their Masters i. 6   The pamphlet has vanished into space.
1892   Spectator 2 Apr. 451/2   He broke away,..and plunged, with a few followers, apparently into space!
1925   Times 13 Aug. 15/5   The wine-maidens..vanished into space to leave a pleasant memory behind.
2000   Crain's Chicago Business (Nexis) 19 June 11   When I was in broadcast, I knew that if I screwed up a sound bite or quote, it would likely be forgotten quickly as the words vanished into space.

1837—2000(Hide quotations)


 a. watch this space! : (originally Journalism) an injunction to observe this publication or advertising space closely for further developments or information. Now frequently figurative and in extended use. Cf. senses 7d, 11e.

1869   Newport (Rhode Island) Daily News 8 Jan.   The Vicksburg Times has a somewhat remarkable advertisement. The words ‘Watch this space closely–ten days—let the people be prepared’, occupy a half column in the paper.
1893   Lafayette (Louisiana) Advertiser 18 Nov.   By special arrangement this Space is reserved for our regular Advertisers. Our readers are requested to watch this space in their own interest.
1917   B.E.F. Times 20 Jan. 15/2 (advt.)    Watch this Space.
1979   J. Rathbone Euro-killers iv. 44   Where is he? Watch this space for exciting revelations in the next few days.
2005   Manch. Evening News (Nexis) 12 July 5   He's got a three-year contract with New Zealand. We'll be keeping an eye on him, though, and three years down the line, well watch this space.

1869—2005(Hide quotations)


 b. Journalism (originally U.S.) on space: on the basis of payment according to article length; (also) employed on this basis. Cf. sense 7c.

1886   Fresno (Calif.) Daily Republican 6 May (headline)    Working on space.
1890   Warren (Pa.) Ledger 14 Mar. 2/3   Other correspondents are generally paid on space for their work.
1894   E. L. Shuman Steps into Journalism 83   Articles by the beginner are nearly always submitted ‘on space’.
1902   E. Banks Autobiogr. Newspaper Girl 202   The woman..if she is ‘on space’ will soon find the editors with ‘no work on hand to-day—sorry—hope something will turn up to-morrow’ attitudes.
1933   E. Waugh Scoop iii. i. 259   I've only been on the paper three weeks... It is the first time I've drawn any money... I'm ‘on space’, you see.
1971   D. Ayerst Guardian xxv. 357   Williams represented the Guardian in St Petersburg at first on a small salary..and then..on space.
2003   T. C. Smythe Gilded Age Press 1865–1900 i. 7   The Herald sent George Alfred Townsend, an experienced, thirty-year-old reporter working on space (he was paid for expenses and the length of his articles) to Scuffletown.

1886—2003(Hide quotations)




 a. (In sense 16.) With the sense ‘used for spacing (in printing, typing, etc.)’, as space-gauge , space-key, †space-line, space-rule; (also) ‘used for holding spaces’, as space-box, space-paper.

1755   J. Smith Printer's Gram. v. 122   Rules are either Brass rules, Metal rules, or Space rules.
1795   W. Caslon Specimen Printing Types   Space lines, 4 to English and..4 to Pica.
1858   P. L. Simmonds Dict. Trade Products   Space-lines, printers' leads for justifying, or filling up lines or words, made from 4 to 12 in pica.
1858   P. L. Simmonds Dict. Trade Products   Space-rule, a thin piece of metal, type-height, of different lengths, used by compositors for making a delicate line in algebraic and other formulæ.
1875   E. H. Knight Pract. Dict. Mech. 2677/1   By holding the space-key [of a type-writer] down while an ‘I’ and ‘S’ are struck.
1888   C. T. Jacobi Printers' Vocab. 129.   Space box, a small try with six or eight divisions.
1888   C. T. Jacobi Printers' Vocab. 129.   Space paper, another term for ‘space barge’.
1895   E. Collyns Typists' Man. 17   The space between the lines is regulated by the ‘Space Gauge’.
1904   T. L. De Vinne Mod. Methods Bk. Composition ii. 56   Space-rules are short pieces of metal rule of hairline face, on 2-point body, cast to even ems and ens of the regular bodies, but chiefly to bodies of 6- 8- 10- 12- and 18-point.
2006   Financial Times (Nexis) 20 Sept. 10   Press the Space key after you have typed the complete word.

1755—2006(Hide quotations)


 b. Relating to space (branch II.) as a general concept, as space-consciousness, space continuum, space-effect, space-element, space harmony, space-image, space-occupancy, space-perception, space-relation, space-sensation, space-sense, space-symmetry, space-value, etc.

1841   M. Stuart Gram. New Test. Dial. 185   The original space-relation..may be easily discovered in a great variety of phrases which now designate causal relations.
1862   H. Spencer First Princ. ii. vii. §71. 250   We can mentally diminish the velocity or space-element of motion.
1865   S. H. Hodgson Time & Space ii. 75   The space-senses sight and touch..are brought into play simultaneously with the other senses.
1872   H. Spencer Princ. Psychol. (ed. 2) II. vi. xiv. 196   Some space-consciousness accompanies the sensation of taste.
1872   J. R. Green Lett. (1901) 338   The most wonderful church in point of space-effect (if I may coin the word) I ever saw.
1875   G. H. Lewes Probl. Life & Mind II. 278   What is signified in speaking of material extension is space-occupancy.
1884   B. Bosanquet et al. tr. H. Lotze Metaphysic 286   It is essential that the directions..should be unmistakably distinguished in the space-image.
1890   W. James Princ. Psychol. II. xx. 195   Let the movement bc, of a certain joint, derive its absolute space-value from the cutaneous feeling it is always capable of engendering.
1890   W. James Princ. Psychol. II. xx. 219   We must..seek to discover by what means the circumstances can so have transformed a space-sensation.
1893   Month Apr. 483   It is contrary to all our experience of space-occupancy.
1911   W. James Some Probl. Philos. xi. 182   God, as the orthodox believe, created the space-continuum, with its infinite parts already standing in it, by an instantaneous fiat.
1924   R. M. Ogden tr. K. Koffka Growth of Mind 72   Psychology of space-perception.
1932   F. L. Wright Autobiogr. ii. 145   Freedom of floorspace and elimination of useless heights worked a miracle in the new dwelling place... An entirely new sense of space values in architecture came home.
1949   Social Forces 28 42/2   The student, by following a carefully phrased set of map instructions, works out the space relations (both geomatic and relative) as well as significant surface features.
1957   H. Read Tenth Muse xxxi. 279   A distinction between an aesthetic consciousness determined by time-sense (music and poetry) and an aesthetic consciousness determined by space-sense (the plastic arts).
1965   W. Lamb Posture & Gesture iv. 56   The process of variation, sometimes under the heading Narrow-Wide, is recognized and figures as a component in ‘Space Harmonies’.
1979   Nature 11 Oct. 433/1   Depending on the symmetry of the lattice and of the arrangement of the atoms within each cell, a crystal is assigned to one of the 230 possible space-symmetry groups.
1993   Appliance (Nexis) May 59   On the commercial level, they seek space-consciousness because space is expense right now.

1841—1993(Hide quotations)


 c. Mathematics. space-coordinate, space-integral, space-point, etc.

1873   J. C. Maxwell Treat. Electr. & Magnetism II. 187   The work done by the force J 1 during the impulse is the space integral of the force.
1882   G. M. Minchin Uniplanar Kinematics 87   The rolling of the Body Centrode on the Space Centrode.
1888   Rep. Brit. Assoc. Advancem. Sci. 1887 507   Certain relations which held between the fluid velocities u, v, w, and their space-derivatives at any point of a rigid boundary.
1936   E. J. Berg Heaviside's Operational Calculus (ed. 2) 183   Here I is related to the space-variation of E in the same formal manner as E to the space-variation of I.
1970   G. K. Woodgate Elem. Atomic Struct. iii. 41   rr is the space-co-ordinate of the incident wave at the position of the ith electron.
2007   Jrnl. Colloid & Interface Sci. 309 353/2   L13 and ωel are space-integral operators and position dependent quantities, respectively.

1873—2007(Hide quotations)


 d. Originally U.S. ( In senses 7c, 7d, 11e.) With the sense ‘paid by or assessed upon the extent of space occupied’, as space-artist, space-writer; space-bill, space rate, space writing; (also) relating to the purchase of (advertising, etc.) space, as space-buyer, space salesman.

1883   Fort Wayne (Indiana) Gaz. 19 Aug. 4/4   Editorial writers..rarely make as much money as space writers.
1887   Westm. Rev. Oct. 858   The general substitution of ‘space writing’ for the work of salaried reporters.
1902   E. Banks Autobiogr. Newspaper Girl 207   [By] the ‘guarantee space’ system..a member of the staff is guaranteed a stipulated sum of money every week, and as much over that amount as he or she makes by writing at ordinary or special space-rates.
1902   E. Banks Autobiogr. Newspaper Girl 233   Space artists get paid two dollars a single-column cut.
1939   F. M. Ford Let. 14 Mar. (1965) 316   You can be certain of occupying a certain space in the pages of the Review and being paid at the usual..space rates.
1948   G. V. Galwey Lift & Drop i. 11   Mrs Lawson, the space~buyer of Rooster's.
1954   A. Koestler Invisible Writing iv. xxxv. 377   Dr. Magnus..was now space-salesman for an obscure little Polish gazette.
1972   G. Bromley In Absence of Body iii. 41   He's the chief space buyer.
1988   Media Week 2 Sept. 14/2   With rare and splendid exceptions space salesmen are not statisticians.
2001   Isis 92 487   Howard suggested that Burbank's celebrity derived from the need for ‘space-writers’ to fill up column inches for an audience of ‘parlor naturalists and lovers of the wonderful in nature.’

1883—2001(Hide quotations)


 e. (In sense 8). With reference to outer space regarded as a field of human activity, as space bus, space conquest, space crew, space doctor, etc.Some of the more established compounds of this type are treated separately (see Compounds 3). Many of them are modelled on analogous uses of air.

1931   Times Lit. Suppl. 21 May 410/1   Mr. Walsh's space-liner..travelling on the Earth–Mars–Venus route..derives nothing from its predecessors.
1939   L. del Rey in Astounding Sci.-Fiction Aug. 15/1   In an emergency, no group of men on Earth can do the work that a space-crew can turn out in a scant half-hour.
1942   Astounding Sci.-Fiction Mar. 73/2   I will make one more hypothesis: it is that we Earth people are today on the verge of space conquest, and that any race further advanced than we must have already mastered space flight.
1951   A. C. Clarke Sands of Mars x. 126   Visiting space-crews..soon got bored if they had nothing to do between trips.
1953   J. N. Leonard Flight into Space xi. 103   Using the scientific method of dissecting a many-sided problem into its separate parts, the space doctors discuss and study the dangers of space individually.
1961   New Scientist 27 July 216   Ultimately, the space bus named Ranger will find its way to the moon, running on electric power drawn from the sun.
1961   Aeroplane 100 184/1   The one-man ‘space tug’ would be used for assembling a large space-station in orbit.
1966   Observer 4 Dec. 2/7   American scientists are planning ‘space lifeboats’ to rescue the crews of disabled spaceships.
1970   Metrop. Mus. Art Bull. 28 355   The shape, the style, the form of an art museum must necessarily differ from that of a maritime museum or a natural history museum or a space museum.
1982   A. Hemingway Pzyche i. 16   The castaway..was a former waiter on a spaceliner.
1989   Space Policy 5 60   The era of space conquest has now given way to an era of space exploitation.
2007   Virginian–Pilot (Norfolk, Virginia) (Nexis) 22 Apr. a16   He then bit enthusiastically into a green apple—a traditional offering for space crews touching down in Kazakhstan.

1931—2007(Hide quotations)


 f. Designating sprays designed to produce aerosol droplets that will remain suspended in the air for an extended period.

1948   Science 12 Mar. 277/1   The space-spray tests were conducted in 100-cu ft cabinets.
1974   M. O. Johnson in J. J. Sciarra & L. Stoller Sci. & Technol. Aerosol Packaging xx. 541 (heading)    Air fresheners and space bactericides.
1997   Stud. Conservation 42 207/1   These involve the use of toxic insecticides which are applied either as a surface treatment, a space spray, or as a crack and crevice spray.

1948—1997(Hide quotations)


 a. With adjectives and past participles, as space-based, space-cramped, space-dependent, space-embosomed, space-spanned, space-spread, †space-thick, etc.

1683   J. Moxon Mech. Exercises II. 99   Space thick; that is, one quarter so thick as the Body is high.
1845   P. J. Bailey Festus (ed. 2) 207   Visiting The spirits in their space-embosomed homes.
1845   P. J. Bailey Festus (ed. 2) 217   The shade Of Death's dark valley. And his space-spread wings.
1891   Pall Mall Gaz. 26 Jan. 3/1   Our extracts, space-cramped as they necessarily are.
1931   C. Day Lewis From Feathers to Iron 45   Space-spanned, God-girdled, love will keep Its form, being planned of bone.
1958   I. Asimov Naked Sun viii. 107   Try getting rid of me against my will and you'll be looking down the throats of space-based artillery.
1962   D. R. Corson & P. Lorrain Introd. Electromagn. Fields 534   Space~dependent functions can also be represented with the exponential notation.
1972   Guardian 9 Feb. 3/8   The US is evolving..an entire space-based defence network.
2006   Nexus (U.K./Europe ed.) Feb. 55/2   Reagan had envisaged the development of space-based intercept systems.

1683—2006(Hide quotations)


 b. With present participles and related nouns, as space-devouring, space-filling, space-occupying, space-penetrating, space-travelling , space-wasting, etc.

[1768   A. Tucker Light of Nature Pursued II. iii. 505   The all-space-filling Mundane soul.]
1800   Philos. Trans. 90 81   The space-penetrating power is no higher than what will suffice for the purpose.
1817   S. T. Coleridge Biogr. Lit. (Bohn) 62   The soul was a thinking substance, and the body a space-filling substance.
1839   P. J. Bailey Festus 326   Space-pervading, oh! ye must be, Spirit-like, infinite.
1848   P. J. Bailey Festus (ed. 3) 222   Space-piercing shadow alighting on the face Of some fair planet.
1870   H. Spencer First Princ. (rev. ed.) ii. vi. §58. 187   The space-occupying kind of force.
1907   W. James Let. 14 Feb. (1920) II. 265   The magnificent space-devouring Subway roaring me back and forth.
1929   Science Jan. 2/1   The telescope should be designed to give great space-penetrating power.
1934   C. Lambert Music Ho! ii. 108   His time travelling is like the space travelling of a character like Douglas Fairbanks.
1962   F. W. Householder in F. W. Householder & S. Saporta Probl. Lexicogr. 281   Others objected to them as (a) space-wasting, (b) often irrelevant and unhelpful.
1979   J. Paton Sea of Rings xv. 122   We've never encountered any other space-travelling civilisation.
1989   R. MacNeil Wordstruck i. 27   Like David's treatment by the gluttonous waiter or the space-hogging passengers on the coach to London.
2007   Plymouth Evening Herald (Nexis) 13 Apr. 45   A mechanised, space-saving storage product, which uses underfloor cavities to maximise the living area in the home.

1800—2007(Hide quotations)


  space agency   n.

1957   Beckley (W. Va.) Post–Herald 15 Dec. 1/1   He said it could be handled by a national space agency.
1970   Times 15 Apr. 1/5   This firm decision was taken today by the space agency in preference to the much riskier feat of attempting a landing a day earlier after a faster return.
2006   Chicago Tribune (Midwest ed.) 1 Sept. iii. 1/4   The nation's space agency chose Lockheed Martin..to build the Orion crew exploration vehicle.

1957—2006(Hide quotations)


  space biology n.

1955   Science 16 Sept. 508/3   Research projects..are being conducted in the Space Biology Branch of the Aero-Medical Field Laboratory.
1977   J. Todd in S. Brand Space Colonies 49/2   During the hey-day of interest in space exploration (summer 1962) a symposium on the ecological aspects of space biology was convened.
1999   Nature 21 Oct. 758/1   Now is a quiet period in space biology.

1955—1999(Hide quotations)


  space exploration   n.

1949   ‘R. Lafayette’ Beyond Black Nebula in Startling Stories Sept. 128/2   He was an old man, fifty-eight. And that was old for space exploration.
1969   Guardian 7 June 2/8   Russia was spending a significantly higher percentage..on space exploration.
1989   C. Caufield Multiple Exposures (1990) xix. 196   Cosmic radiation may be one of the most important limiting factors for future space exploration.
2005   New Yorker 4 Apr. 22/1   It's hard not to feel like an excited, nerdy eleven-year-old when perusing the lots of this sale of objects from the history of space exploration.

1949—2005(Hide quotations)


  space explorer   n.

1935   Oakland (Calif.) Tribune 27 May 20   Even I, seasoned space explorer that I am, can hardly believe that I was once an ‘ancient’ of the 20th century!
1959   K. Vonnegut Sirens of Titan i. 30   The state of mind on Earth with regard to space exploration was much like the state of mind in Europe..before Christopher Columbus set out... The monsters between space explorers and their goals were not imaginary.
1975   New Yorker 21 Apr. 108/2   It has turned out that our real space explorers have necessarily been practical men.
2004   Pop. Sci. Apr. 74/2   They consider the universe an extension of Earth, and want space explorers to be politically correct pacifists and environmentalists.

1935—2004(Hide quotations)


  space journey   n.

1901   H. G. Wells First Men in Moon xx, in Strand Mag. May 507/2   All through the major portion of that vast space journey I hung thinking of such immaterial things.
1961   Daily Tel. 6 May 8/2   Cdr. Shepard's successful space journey is an immense relief not only to the Americans but the entire free world.
2003   Wired Mar. 128/2   Human physiology remains the primary stumbling block to a prolonged space journey.

1901—2003(Hide quotations)


  space law   n.

1953   R. A. Heinlein Starman Jones vii. 85   This he knew to be good space law, although the concatenation was long.
1960   Daily Tel. 17 Aug. 13/3   Mr Shawcross also announced that he would resign as chairman of the organising committee on space law, recently set up in London.
1980   Oxf. Compan. Law 1165/2   Space law, principles of law accepted by nations as binding on them and their nationals in engaging in activities in outer space..and in relation to celestial bodies.
2001   Sat. Night (Toronto) 26 May 18/1   Who owns the ISS? What do the annals of space law say about it? Are there even ‘annals of space law’? Actually, there are. According to OOSA, the United Nations' Office for Outer Space Affairs, outer space is governed by five international treaties.

1953—2001(Hide quotations)


  space navigation   n.

1931   J. M. Walsh Vandals of Void iv. 40   A ticklish job..is this of space navigation.
1976   Internat. Aerospace Abstr. 16 23/2   Time intervals in problems of space navigation and communication are often obtained by determining the phase of binary signals.
2005   Independent (Nexis) 29 Dec. 28   The Europeans have united to start a space navigation system that no one else can turn off..or profit from.

1931—2005(Hide quotations)


  space navigator   n.

1930   ‘G. Edwards’ Rescue from Jupiter in Wonder Stories Feb. 778/1   He called the explorers in, the mechanics and engineers, the space-navigators and the rocket-experts.
1951   A. C. Clarke Exploration of Space 82   His position is, clearly, only one of the things a space-navigator would want to know.
2000   Pop. Sci. Oct. 69/1   Chinese officials and newspapers prefer ‘yuhangyuan’, roughly translated as ‘space navigator’.

1930—2000(Hide quotations)


  space pilot   n.

1932   J. W. Campbell in Amazing Stories Quarterly Spring 148/1   The change from the energy-less, flavored pastes that made up the principal bulk of a space-pilot's diet..was indeed a welcome change.
1978   Space Picture Library Holiday Special 6   The man who rushed forward..could do little more than break the space-pilot's fall.
2006   Press & Jrnl. (Aberdeen) (Nexis) 4 July 6   Brian Binnie piloted Space Ship One in October 2004 to become only the second civilian space pilot in history.

1932—2006(Hide quotations)


  space research   n.

1952   Kerrville (Texas) Times 17 Sept. 5/2   Most of the advances in space research have been in the past decade.
1957   IRE Trans. Mil. Electronics 1 43/1   The development of a system to control remotely a space-research vehicle.
2004   New Yorker 26 Jan. 28/1   In the fifties and sixties, military and space research did help make the United States a technological powerhouse.

1952—2004(Hide quotations)


  space travel n.

1929   Amazing Stories Dec. 793/2   Not having ourselves as yet conquered the problems of space-travel, we invite you to visit us on Neptune.
1978   I. Watson in C. Priest Anticipations 13   What kind of space travel..? Well, they can only be going to the stars.
2006   Wall St. Jrnl. 21 Aug. a2/2   While taxpayer funds earmarked for the proposed cargo-haulers are relatively small by NASA standards..last week's announcement nevertheless marked a watershed for proponents of commercial space travel.

1929—2006(Hide quotations)


  space traveller   n.

1928   Amazing Stories Sept. 560/2   Baron Münchhausen's space-traveler (you told us) was surrounded by a network screen of ‘marconium.’
1976   Listener 22 July 83/3   A journey of merely five light years would take about 500,000 years... 15,000 generations of men and women..would successively replace the original crew of stellar space-travellers en route.
2005   New Scientist 20 Aug. 33/1   A food replicator could be a godsend not just to space travellers but to the food industry as well.

1928—2005(Hide quotations)


  space age   n. the period of human exploration and exploitation of outer space; frequently attributive designating things considered characteristic of this age esp. in being extremely modern or technically advanced.

1946   H. Harper Dawn of Space Age i. i. 5   We have had an age of steam-power, an age of electricity and of the petrol engine, and an age of the air, and now with the coming of atomic power the world should, in due course, find itself in the space age.
1960   K. Amis New Maps of Hell iii. 80   The outset of the space age and the immense technological effort involved in it are obviously the propelling force of much science fiction today.
1963   New Yorker 8 June 96   The space-age, space-tested material that makes possible this smart, new look in luggage.
1980   Times Lit. Suppl. 7 Nov. 1258/4   Our space-age Palace of History—the new computerized Public Record Office at Kew.
2007   Australian (Nexis) 9 Aug. 3   A designer renowned for his slick space-age style.

1946—2007(Hide quotations)


  space-ager   n. rare a person living in the space age.

1959   Times 9 Mar. 13/5   One of the rockets, the space-ager firmly believes, will have him aboard.
1999   Toronto Star (Nexis) 19 Dec.   I still pick that old receiver off the wall, not like these trendy space-agers who pull cellphones out of their jean pockets.

1959—1999(Hide quotations)


  space-agey adj. relating to or characteristic of the space age.

1962   Punch 28 Nov. 781/1   A modern caravan..trying to look zippy and space-agey.
1978   Washington Post (Nexis) 23 June (Weekend section) 19   ‘Metamorphoses’ isn't a space-agey fantasy.
2004   Time Out N.Y. 1 Jan. 17/3   The fad's space-agey outfits are body obscuring, asexual and modern only if you view them from the 1960s.

1962—2004(Hide quotations)


  space alien   n. Science Fiction = alien n. 5.

1954   Fantastic Universe May 134   Cinema-makers are now trying to avoid further boycotts by using space aliens for villains. But suppose some of our Extraterrestrial neighbors are also a bit touchy?
2003   BusinessWeek 13 Jan. 45/1   A secretive sect led by a Frenchman who..believes in space aliens, announced..that it had cloned a baby girl.

1954—2003(Hide quotations)


  space-averaged adj. Physics averaged over a region of space; contrasted with time-averaged.

1946   Nature 26 Oct. 582/2   Such time- or space-averaged statistical structures are becoming increasingly familiar to X-ray crystallographers.
1962   D. R. Corson & P. Lorrain Introd. Electromagn. Fields iii. 91 (caption)    To find the space-averaged field intensity produced by the dipoles, we calculate the field intensity at O..and then repeat this calculation for many other points O′.
1997   Vision Res. 37 821   The hue of individual squares and space-averaged luminance were held constant.

1946—1997(Hide quotations)


  spaceband   n. Typography (in a typesetting machine) a pair of movable metal wedges used between words to space and justify the line; (hence in desktop publishing) a space between two words.

1895   Daily Northwestern (Oshkosh, Wisconsin) 2 Feb. 1/5   During the time that the Mold Wheel has been turning..the First Elevator has ascended, the Space Bands or Spaces have been returned to their proper places [etc.].
1904   C. T. Jacobi Printing (ed. 3) x. 132   A stationary box..contains a series of space-bands.
1957   Encycl. Brit. XVIII. 502/2   By touching another key, a double wedge spaceband is placed between the words.
1992   MacUser (Nexis) Nov. b17   Monotype's Agency Fit includes an XTension that lets you kern space bands in a selected story or range or throughout a QuarkXPress document.
2002   P. Baines & A. Haslam Type & Typogr. iv. 80/1   They form a line and have expanding spacebands inserted in the assembler.
2006   August (Georgia) Chron. (Nexis) 18 Nov. a4   We have added six letters and a spaceband to the piece.

1895—2006(Hide quotations)


  space bar   n. a long horizontal key positioned in the centre of the lowermost row of a standard computer or typewriter keyboard, which when pressed inserts a space into the text being typed.

1887   Atchison (Kansas) Daily Globe 13 July   Some [typists] use only the forefinger of each hand..while the number of those who strike the space bar with their finger instead of with the thumb is legion.
1919   B. De Bear Typewriting 22   You depress the space-bar whenever you want to leave a space in a line of the work.
1990   CU Amiga Apr. 75/4   When the writing comes up..press the ‘space bar’ many times.
2005   Guardian (Nexis) 19 Sept. 3   With more and more employees eating lunch at their desks..there's also a risk of hampering your keyboard's functionality—nothing like some sticky soy sauce to make the spacebar jam.

1887—2005(Hide quotations)


  space barge   n. Typography (now rare) a holder for spaces (cf. sense 16a).

1888   C. T. Jacobi Printers' Vocab. 129   Space barge, a piece of card or thick paper used to hold spaces on whilst correcting a forme.

1888—1888(Hide quotations)


  space blanket   n. a lightweight metal-coated sheet of synthetic material which retains heat by reflection, used esp. around injured and shocked patients to keep them warm (based on similar materials developed for use in space).

1966   Lincoln (Nebraska) Star 15 June 2/3 (advt.)    NRC Space Blanket..7.95.
1970   Lancet 3 Oct. 680/1   Subsequent cases were covered by a sheet and blanket, or an aluminium ‘space blanket’.
2006   Star Tribune (Minneapolis) (Nexis) 18 June (Sports section) 11 c   About 100 feet past the finish line, volunteers were busy all morning and afternoon handing out space blankets and cups of ice water.

1966—2006(Hide quotations)


  space cabin   n. Astronautics a chamber designed to support human life in space; the crew's quarters in a spacecraft.

1948   Jrnl. Aesthetics & Art Crit. 7 83   You may now determine the exact distance of the imaginary orbit from the equally imaginary space window by drawing a side elevation of the space cabin, the window opening, and as much of first field as you need.
1961   Guardian 10 Mar. 1/5   As on previous occasions in this series of Russian experiments, the space cabin, as it is called, weighed 4·5 tons.
2004   Acta Astronautica 54 128/2   The system..controls five subsystems that are critical to maintain adequate atmospheric conditions in the space cabin.

1948—2004(Hide quotations)


  space cadet   n.  (a) a trainee spaceman or spacewoman; also in extended use;  (b) slang a person regarded as out of touch with reality, esp. (as if) as a result of taking drugs; a person prone to flights of fancy or irrational or strange behaviour.

1948   R. A. Heinlein (title)    Space Cadet.
1952   Newsweek 13 Oct. 39/2 (caption)    Test pilot A. M. ‘Tex’ Johnston..resembles a space cadet in the new high~altitude helmet and suit designed to protect pilots in the upper air.
1958   C. C. Adams et al. Space Flight p. vii   There have been space books for children—our present space cadets and future rocket pilots.
1973   Slang (typescript) (Univ. North Carolina, Chapel Hill) Fall   Space cadette [sic], someone who acts spaced out, i.e., as if he has been on drugs: out of touch with reality.
1978   Washington Post 8 Oct. h1/2   ‘Drugs can be fun.’ He says this matter-of-factly, although he often makes jokes about ‘space cadets’.
1987   Today 21 Oct. 36/1   You need never be considered a Space Cadet (dumbo) again.
1992   Face Feb. 69/1   What those old space cadets were actually boldly going around in were shell suits.
2002   Sound & Vision May 106/1   The best tracks on Uninvisible sound like a convincing meld of meat-and-potatoes organists like Freddie Roach and space cadets like Sun Ra.
2005   BBC Focus Dec. 62/2   I also wrote The Planets because I love space. I'm a card-carrying space cadet at heart.

1948—2005(Hide quotations)


  space cake   n. slang a cake containing cannabis, eaten as an intoxicant.

1984   N.Y. Times Mag. 7 Oct. ii. 124/2   A fellow was selling some sort of pastry stacked on a rickety card table, with a sign taped to the table reading, ‘Space Cakes—made with genuine Lebanese hash’.
2001   S. Walton Out of It (2002) iv. 97   The recipe for hash brownies..in her celebrated cookbook has spawned a million space cakes and dope biscuits.

1984—2001(Hide quotations)


  space capsule   n. Astronautics a small spacecraft or a self-contained part of a larger one that contains the instruments or crew for a space flight.

[1952   C. S. White & O. O. Benson Physics & Med. Upper Atmosphere 515   It would appear that escape at higher altitudes, or in space, will be accomplished by a larger, multiplace version of the escape capsule.]
1954   Lincoln (Nebraska) Star 17 Feb. 30/2   With the aid of a space capsule it can be done, but it won't be fun.
1963   Ann. Reg. 1962 398   The larger two-man Gemini space capsules, orbiting for a fortnight on end.
1977   G. Scott Hot Pursuit x. 88   It starts..with the space capsule... A Russian satellite, one of the Cosmos series.
2000   Art Jrnl. 59 36   For Jameson, the building is like an alien ship, a space capsule.

1954—2000(Hide quotations)


  space case   n. colloquial = space cadet n. (b).In quot. 1972   probably: a person suffering from a lack of space.

1972   Bucks County (Pa.) Courier Times 11 Sept. 16 (advt.)    Are you a space case—Suffering from neighboritis—Move up to privacy on almost 1/2 acre lot into this spacious colonial.
1977   Social Probl. 24 389   The ‘space case’ is an individual viewed by peers as delusionary and unpredictable.
2006   Play: N.Y. Times Sports Mag. Nov. 90/1   Who do I put at center mid, the crotch-tugging kid with the world's smallest bladder or the attention-deficit space case?

1972—2006(Hide quotations)


  space chamber   n. a chamber in which conditions in space or in a spacecraft can be simulated.

1959   Daily Tel. 23 Feb. 11/7   Col. Steinkamp and his colleagues have been carrying out interesting tests, lasting from four hours to a week, in a sealed ‘space chamber’.
1966   Science World 7 Jan. 10   The Air Force has been testing the ability of men to live for long periods in a new gas mixture that may be used in space ships... There have been two short tests in ‘space chambers’.
1998   New Scientist 12 Sept. 34/2   They fired gaseous water and PAHs such as naphthalene and anthracene one at a time on to the simulated ‘dust grains’ in the space chamber.

1959—1998(Hide quotations)


  space charge   n. Electronics a collection of particles with a net electric charge occupying a volume, either in free space or in a device; frequently attributive.

1913   Physical Rev. 2 450 (heading)    The effect of space charge and the residual gases on thermionic currents in high vacuum.
1921   Physical Rev. 18 56   The maximum space-charge limited current was the same for each [tube].
1962   J. H. Simpson & R. S. Richards Physical Princ. Junction Transistors iv. 54   The region AB is often referred to as the space-charge or depletion region.
2000   J. McFall tr. K. Wille Physics of Particle Accelerators vii. 205   The third and most significant current limitation is due to the space charge effect.

1913—2000(Hide quotations)


  space club   n. a notional group made up of nations with successful space programmes; (also occasionally) a consortium of nations formed to cooperate in space research and development.

1960   Times 22 Sept. 12/1 (headline)    British plan to form space club. Sharing costs of satellite launchings.
1970   Daily Tel. 3 Sept. 5   Britain failed to join the ‘space club’ yesterday because of a fault in the second stage of the Black Arrow rocket fired from Woomera, Australia.
2007   Statesman (India) (Nexis) 9 Aug.   In the three decades of its existence, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has thrust India into the space club of a handful of nations by building over a dozen sophisticated satellites.

1960—2007(Hide quotations)


  space colony   n. chiefly Science Fiction a large group of people imagined as living and working in a space station or on another planet.

1932   P. S. Miller in Wonder Stories June 91/2   No author can present vividly and realistically for the benefit of the latter, experienced readers certain problems of future life and relations, of life in space ships and space colonies.
1974   N.Y. Times 19 May iv. 6/1   The space colonies..would provide an alternative to earth if the earth's resources ever reach the point of depletion.
1996   D. Rushkoff Playing Future ii. 73   Meanwhile, many children born on the space colonies have mutated.

1932—1996(Hide quotations)


  space curve   n. Geometry a curve that is not confined to a single plane.

1875   Philos. Trans. (Royal Soc.) 165 417   The projection of the space-curve beyond the last hour-circle gives 24x.
1953   Catal. Dover Bks. in S. K. Langer Introd. Symbolic Logic (ed. 2) (advt.)    Covers space curves, osculating planes, moving axes,..etc.
2007   Computer Aided Geom. Design 24 238   It is impossible to parameterize any space curve, other than a straight line, by rational functions of its arc length.

1875—2007(Hide quotations)


  space debris n. natural and man-made debris floating in space, esp. in earth orbit (cf. space junk n.).

1931   Astounding Stories Sept. 393/1   The three in the pilot-house could see that around and between the ships of the wreck-pack floated much other matter—fragments of wreckage, meteors, small and large, and space-debris of every sort.
1953   Fresno (Calif.) Bee 27 Dec. 8 a/4   Nobody knows how many comets may be emerging from his [sc. Oort's] reservoir of space debris, but their numbers could run into the millions.
1988   B. Mukherjee in M. Atwood Best Amer. Short Stories 1989 (1989) 230   At least they've stopped talking about space debris and Russian lasers.
2007   N.Y. Times (National ed.) 3 June iv. 2/2   Scientists consider space debris, which includes discarded rocket parts and small rocks, to be the biggest threat to the space station.

1931—2007(Hide quotations)


  space density   n. Astronomy and Electronics frequency of occurrence per specified volume of space.

1923   Proc. Royal Soc. 1922–3 A. 102 737   We can see, in a general way, the effect of this space density of the electrons on the current potential curves.
1978   Nature 10 Aug. 569/1   RS Canum Venaticorum systems are the most plentiful binary stars known, having a space density of at least 10–6 systems pc–3.
1996   Q. Jrnl. Royal Astron. Soc. 37 524   This is about all that can be gleaned immediately from the diagram—the space density of powerful radio sources is less than the space density of their weaker brethren.

1923—1996(Hide quotations)


  space-dyed adj. designating yarn or thread which is dyed in two or more colours at alternating intervals along its length; (also) made with such yarn or thread.

1947   Norwich (N.Y.) Sun 2 Mar. 4/8 (advt.)    For Sale—knitting supplies,..space dyed yarns, also instruction.
1972   Chicago Tribune 3 Jan. ii. 2/1   Mandarin tapestry patterns..coordinated with space-dyed sweaters.
2006   Spin-off Spring 18/1   How to use the yarn you've dyed, be it solid, painted, or space dyed.

1947—2006(Hide quotations)


  space elevator   n. any of various proposed structures extending from the earth upwards for many miles as a means of transporting materials into space, esp. one consisting of a tether linked to a geosynchronous satellite orbiting the earth; cf. orbital tower n. at orbital adj. and n. Compounds 2, sky-hook n. 1a.

1979   A. C. Clarke Fountains of Paradise 51   At last we can build the Space Elevator—or the Orbital Tower, as I prefer to call it.
2004   N.Y. Rev. Bks. 29 Apr. 40/2   Meanwhile the high cost of getting from the Earth to low orbit could be avoided by building a space elevator—essentially a cable attached to the ground at the bottom and to a geosynchronous satellite at the top.

1979—2004(Hide quotations)


  space fiction   n. science fiction involving space travel or set in outer space, on other planets, etc.

1952   Space Science Fiction May 2/1   We like good space fiction, and we intend to bring you the best of it... The space-opera of flashing rayguns and invincible heroes has long since been overdone.
1960   Guardian 19 Aug. 5/4   A frantic urge for escape, but where to? Astrology, necromancy, space-fiction?
1979   Daily Tel. 14 Dec. 13/3   Star Trek is the latest in an increasing number of space fiction films which..tend to find individuality.
2001   Herald Sun (Melbourne) (Nexis) 29 Aug. 29   These are just two examples of how space fiction has accurately forecast the future.

1952—2001(Hide quotations)


  space-fictional adj. rare of or relating to space fiction.

1963   V. Gielgud Goggle-box Affair xviii. 191   Space-fictional horrors.

1963—1963(Hide quotations)


  space-filler   n. something that serves to occupy an otherwise vacant space; spec. a brief or insignificant item in a newspaper or magazine.

1886   Jrnl. Hellenic Stud. 7 199   On the amphora we have two figures added to fill up the ampler space. I attach no mythological importance to them; they are primarily space fillers.
1911   H. S. Harrison Queed xviii. 232   There's a little squib about the college that may serve as a space-filler.
1972   Sci. Amer. July 13/3   I have written some poetry, mostly nonserious, that has found its way into medical journals as space-filler.
2001   I. Sinclair Landor's Tower (2002) i. iii. 38   Poets..nodded in gleeful sympathy at natural cullings, kindly cancers that had carried off a few more anthology space-fillers.

1886—2001(Hide quotations)


  space fleet   n. chiefly Science Fiction a fleet of spacecraft.

1931   P. Nowlan in Oakland (California) Tribune Comics 3 May 1   The electronographs and television show a strange space fleet flashing toward Venus in battle formation!!
1958   World Politics 10 528   A single space-fleet under the control of some genuinely international organization could forestall the kind of armaments race that such a prospect of dominance might start.
1979   J. Paton Sea of Rings 23   William Robert Mahony, ex-Captain, Space Fleet, aged 46.
2007   Space Daily (Nexis) 17 July   Visionary business leaders..have already begun building space fleets, and are engaged in the initial stages of building marketing organizations for commercial space flight.

1931—2007(Hide quotations)


  space flight   n. a journey in or into outer space; (as a mass noun) space-travel generally.

1931   Wonder Stories Jan. 900/1   We know now what conditions are necessary for a space flight... After all space flying is too great a matter to be limited by national pride and jealousy.
1949   A. C. Clarke Across Sea of Stars (1959) 76   There is a timelessness about space-flight..unmatched by any other experience of man.
1978   J. Updike Coup (1979) v. 183   The hollow head with which a mummified Pharaoh is helmeted for his space-flight.
2005   Guardian 8 Nov. i. 9/1   What few studies have been done in the past show there are some significant differences between the sexes when it comes to space flight.

1931—2005(Hide quotations)


  space flyer   n.  (a) a spacecraft (rare);  (b) an astronaut.

1911   Mod. Electrics Nov. 516/1   He knew now that Fernand 60O 10 had carried off his sweetheart in a space-flyer and that the machine by this time was probably far out from the earth's boundary.
1931   Wonder Stores Feb. 958   To old and seasoned space~fliers like Professor Galloway and myself, there was something ludicrous in all this emotional bustle..over a little hop to the Moon.
1962   M. V. Glenny tr. H. Gartmann Space Travel 130/1   The space flyer will..encounter two opposed physical conditions: pressure and weightlessness.
2007   Capital (Annapolis, Maryland) (Nexis) 3 June a7   Atlantis' crew has three spaceflight veterans and four first-time spacefliers.

1911—2007(Hide quotations)


  space frame   n. Engineering a three-dimensional structural framework designed to behave as an integral unit and to withstand loads applied at any point.

1912   A. Morley Theory of Struct. xiii. 380 (heading)    Space frames.
1933   Proc. Royal Soc. A. 139 477   Recent developments, more particularly in aeronautics, have introduced types of structure which can only be discussed as examples of ‘space frames’.
2002   BusinessWeek 11 Nov. 111/2   The first..is beguilingly simple: build autos around a ‘space frame’—a single welded structure that integrates a safety cage with the heavy rails that give a car its stiffness.

1912—2002(Hide quotations)


space-government   n.  [after Italian interregno (1585 in the passage translated in quot. 1600)] Obsolete rare an interim government, an interregnum.

1600   E. Blount tr. G. F. di Conestaggio Hist. Uniting Portugall to Castill 261   Knowing there was a space-gouernement [It. interregno], with likelihood of warre.

1600—1600(Hide quotations)


  space gun   n. Astronautics  (a) a large gun which projects a spacecraft into space;  (b) a hand-held gun whose recoil is used by an astronaut to propel himself or herself.

1935   H. G. Wells Things to Come 12   The stormy victory of the new ideas as the Space Gun fires and the moon cylinder starts on its momentous journey.
1954   K. W. Gatland Devel. Guided Missile (ed. 2) 197   All the propellant could be consumed in the first second of take-off—as Jules Verne proposed in his famous ‘space-gun’.
1968   Amer. Speech 43 166   Space gun, a handheld instrument used to propel an astronaut outside the capsule.
1970   N. Armstrong et al. First on Moon viii. 180   This was where I had to use the little space gun.
1999   Technol. Forecasting & Social Change 61 126   The potential of the linear induction mass driver or ‘rail gun’ or ‘spacegun’ would drastically reduce costs of launching materials.

1935—1999(Hide quotations)


  space heater   n. any self-contained appliance for heating an enclosed space.

1913   Decatur (Illinois) Rev. 25 Oct. 7   Take the chill off your room these cold mornings with a gas space heater.
1951   Good Housek. Home Encycl. 203/1   The stove..is primarily designed as a boiling ring but it will also serve as a space heater.
2004   Maryland Gaz. (Nexis) 27 Nov. e1   Tossing a jacket over a chair or hanging it on a doorknob may invite disaster from a nearby spaceheater. They are not meant to be clothes dryers.

1913—2004(Hide quotations)


  space heating n. the action or practice of using a self-contained heater to heat an enclosed space; frequentlyattributive.

1930   Jrnl. Land & Public Utility Econ. 6 41/1   Gas..can compete with other fuels that are considerably cheaper. This is especially true in all the domestic heating requirements except space heating.
1934   Jrnl. Inst. Heating & Ventilating Engineers 13 234   The open fire is still..the most widely-used domestic space~heating appliance.
1973   Guardian 17 Mar 12/5   What is especially intolerable..is that..electricity with a starting efficiency of only 20 per cent or so is allowed to be sold for space heating, a role particularly suitable for the 80 per cent of low grade heat that has been thrown away.
1990   B. Bodlund et al. in J. Leggett Global Warming xiv. 326   Electric space-heating in industry is included as an end-use in the industrial model, rather than in the space-heating model.
2001   S. Roaf et al. Ecohouse (2002) ii. 56 (caption)    Materials..capable of absorbing and storing heat, are placed below south facing windows. During the heating season they help to store heat, reducing the need for space heating.

1930—2001(Hide quotations)


  space helmet   n. a helmet worn by an astronaut to provide air and protect the head; also in extended use.

1931   M. W. Wellman Disc-Men of Jupiter Sept. 544/1   He took the glass-fronted space helmet and adjusted it on Thiana's head.
1973   Times 29 Aug. 3/2   Scientists are developing a ‘space helmet’ respirator to protect miners against dust.
2000   Sunday Herald (Glasgow) 20 Feb. (Seven Days section) 2/5   The picture of the first man on the moon with the shiny suit, with an almost rayban mirror on the space helmet.

1931—2000(Hide quotations)


  space-helmeted adj. wearing a space helmet; (also) wearing a helmet that resembles a space helmet.

1957   Time 22 July 52/1   From a sealed chamber like the cabin of a rocket ship, and from space-helmeted human guinea pigs who live in it, medical researchers..hope to learn answers to some fundamental questions about the body's consumption of fuel and oxygen.
1982   D. MacKenzie Raven's Revenge x. 94   A space-helmeted motorcyclist.
1999   Washington Times (Nexis) 30 Aug. a2   A space-helmeted golden retriever sitting amid the stars with an American flag, a flying saucer and a ringed planet in the background.

1957—1999(Hide quotations)


  space hopper   n. (also with capital initial(s)) chiefly British an inflatable rubber globe with flexible handles, designed for children to ride by sitting on it and bouncing about (a proprietary name in the United Kingdom).

1968   Van Nuys (Calif.) News (Central Valley ed.) 23 May b4 (advt.)    Spacehopper. Inflatable riding toy.
1971   Times 2 June 15/1   Among our other successful toys, ‘Wembley balls’, ‘Space-hoppers’ and ‘Petite’ typewriters continue to live up to our best expectations.
2000   W. Self How Dead Live (2001) xv. 372   I joshed the clerks..bouncing through the old offices on their orange Spacehoppers.

1968—2000(Hide quotations)


  space industry   n. the sector of industry which manufactures goods and materials in connection with space technology.

1957   Nevada State Jrnl. 13 Nov. 4/4   No one in the infant space industry is much surprised when a young engineer-scientist drops dead of a heart attack at 35.
1972   Guardian 10 July 11/2   The unhappy fragmental European space industry.
2007   Collect it! Jan. 24/1   Dichroic glass..is a spin off from the space industry.

1957—2007(Hide quotations)


  Space Invaders   n. (also with lower-case initials) (a proprietary name for) an early animated computer game in which a player attempts to shoot down a fleet of attacking enemy spaceships while simultaneously avoiding their fire; (also) the attacking force itself.

1979   Los Angeles Times 23 Sept. vii. 17/1   Nobody likes to be a loser, but when playing Space Invaders, most gamesters don't seem to mind.
1980   Guardian 2 Feb. 8/3   Driven out of the BR station buffet by bleeping Space Invaders.
1997   A. Garland Beach 145   Luckily I discovered that the café had an old Space Invaders machine, so for me the waiting wasn't so bad.
2006   Sci. Amer. (U.K. ed.) Aug. 62/1   For those of us who frittered our formative years away blasting blocky space invaders, video games today can widen the eyes and slacken the jaw.

1979—2006(Hide quotations)


  space junk n. originally U.S. debris, usually man-made, floating in space, esp. in earth orbit (cf. space debris n.).

1951   Charleston (W. Va.) Gaz. 30 Sept. (Comics section) 50 (caption)    Saturn..is, of course, noted for the ring of meteors, and space-junk around it.
1958   Christian Sci. Monitor 1 Aug. 12/1   Blowing up the old satellites with time bombs is no solution because the pieces would still orbit and become space junk.
1965   Times 27 May 9/5 (heading)    Radio signals bounce from ‘space junk’.
2001   Fortean Times Jan. 9/3   A bit of space junk as big as a double-decker bus exploded in the desert near Uluru (Ayer's Rock) in Australia.

1951—2001(Hide quotations)


  space lab   n. Astronautics = space laboratory n.; spec. (as Spacelab) one carried into earth orbit by the American space shuttle between 1983 and 1998.

1955   Winona (Minnesota) Daily News 30 July 7/8 (heading)    Soviets working on space ‘lab’.
1975   K. W. Gatland Missiles & Rockets xv. 246   Hatches on top of the cargo compartment will open to permit Space Lab to be hinged out into space.
1980   T. Furniss Space Satellites 30/2   One of the payloads the Shuttle carries is the Spacelab research station.
1993   Psychol. Today July 59/1   The lazily pinwheeling Russian space-lab.
2007   Bismarck (N. Dakota) Tribune (Nexis) 11 June   Latches fastened the shuttle and orbiting space lab together at 3:36 p.m. EDT.

1955—2007(Hide quotations)


  space laboratory   n. Astronautics a laboratory in space, esp. a small earth-orbiting space station equipped as a laboratory; (also) a terrestrial laboratory that specializes in space research.

1954   A. C. Clarke Young Traveller in Space vi. 42   The Space-laboratory.
1973   Guardian 28 May 2/2   The battered American space laboratory, Skylab, cooling parasol now clutched tightly over her gold-foiled head.
2000   Wired Apr. 126/1   Jeff Ridley [is] a remote-sensing specialist with the Mullard Space Laboratory at University College London.

1954—2000(Hide quotations)


  space lattice   n.  [after German Raumgitter (1888 in the passage translated in quot. 1895)] Crystallography a regular, indefinitely repeated array of points in three dimensions in which the points lie at the intersections of three sets of parallel equidistant planes and every point is surrounded by the same pattern of points in the same orientation; a three-dimensional Bravais lattice.

1895   W. J. Pope tr. A. Fock Introd. Chem. Crystallogr. ii. 12   Frankenheim..found that fifteen different space-lattices are possible, and then, having deduced from the cleavage and general habit of crystals that fifteen fundamental forms of crystals are possible, he showed that these latter in many respects correspond with the lattices.
1923   R. Glazebrook Dict. Appl. Physics IV. 18/2   In the crystals of very simple chemical compounds..the space-lattice is directly formed by the chemical atoms. In the more complicated crystalline substances..the space-lattice points are surrounded or replaced by groups of atoms.
1973   J. G. Tweeddale Materials Technol. I. iii. 59   Although there are countless varieties of crystals, there can be only 14 types of space lattice.
2007   Optics Communications 271 25/1 (caption)    A cubic unit cell of the Yee space lattice.

1895—2007(Hide quotations)


  space launcher   n. Astronautics a rocket or other vehicle used to carry spacecraft into space.

1955   Idaho State Jrnl. 7 Oct. 8/3   Space launcher work begins... The Defense Department announced last night that ‘work has begun’ on the project to put a small artificial satellite into far space to circle the Earth.
1976   Science 11 June 1072/1   The Soviet Union..continues to maintain a large space effort, as measured by number of launches, number of new missile and space launcher types, [etc.].
1994   T. Clancy Debt of Honor iv. 77   BECO meant booster-engine cutoff, because he was thinking in terms of a space launcher.

1955—1994(Hide quotations)


  space lift   n.  [after airlift n. 2] an act of transporting goods or personnel in space.

1954   ‘J. Christopher’ Twenty-second Cent. 65   As many as possible would be got away to those planets by a full space lift.
1964   Yearbk. Astron. 1965 142   What then might be realized is a joint use of the nationally developed space hardware in a space~lift of supplies to obtain the first firm footholds on the Moon in the shape of a scientific base.
1999   Washington Post (Nexis) 27 May a28   A 1998 State Department analysis..found Hughes's interactions with the Chinese ‘resulted in significant improvement to the Chinese spacelift program’.

1954—1999(Hide quotations)


  space medicine n. Medicine the branch of medicine concerned with the physiological effects of being in space.

1949   Time 12 Sept. 29/2   The U.S. Air Force's School of Aviation Medicine..has set up an interplanetary research section, [and] named it the Department of Space Medicine.
1979   Human Physiol. 5 542   The use of seismocardiography in clinical, athletic, and space medicine..is..a promising development.
2007   Guardian (Nexis) 20 Mar. (Education Section) 12   Nangalia is keen to stress that space medicine is not just an escape pod from everyday clinical life.

1949—2007(Hide quotations)


  space music   n. music which seeks to convey an impression of space or spatial organization, or to evoke outer space; cf. spacy adj. 3.

1961   Musical Q. 47 246   A sort of space music for four choruses and four orchestras, which are placed at the four corners of the hall..and then for half an hour make music one after the other, one against the other, one with the other, and in and through each other..spatially, that is.
1963   Times 30 Apr. 15/1   A ‘poème plastique’, written in 1918, uses the very up-to-date idea of instrumental units separated in space; a kind of early stereophonic, space music.
1977   ‘J. le Carré’ Honourable Schoolboy xix. 467   Jerry..walked into the reception room... Space music was playing and there was even conversation under it.
1998   K. Eshun More Brilliant than Sun ix. 162   The polyrhythmaze volatizes the weightless zero of traditional space music with the perpetual motility and runaway complexity of molecular rhythm.

1961—1998(Hide quotations)


  space myopia   n. Ophthalmology the tendency of the human eye, in a featureless visual field, to focus to a distance of only 1–2 metres.This can result in a failure to see objects at greater distances and is a particular problem for aircraft pilots.

1962   F. I. Ordway et al. Basic Astronautics xii. 474   Other visual phenomena associated with space flight include space myopia... Looking out into the darkness of space, the astronaut would not know whether his eyes were focused at infinity or only a few feet from his ship.
1975   Science 22 Aug. 647/2   In the case of empty field or space myopia, there are no contours or texture to serve as a stimulus for accommodation.
2001   European Patent 1,148,880 5   The neutral resting state of the eye can be referred to as ‘tonic accommodation’, ‘space myopia’ and ‘sky myopia’.

1962—2001(Hide quotations)


  space needle   n.  (a) each of a large number of short copper fibres placed experimentally in earth orbit to reflect communication signals (now rare);  (b) a very tall, slender tower; spec. that opened in Seattle, United States, in 1962.

1961   Daily Tel. 23 Oct. 1/3 (heading)    Space needles begin to form radio band.
1972   Amer. Jrnl. Internat. Law 66 307   Although the ‘space needles’ apparently produced no lasting detrimental effect, the scientific community called for more thorough evaluation internationally before similar experiments were undertaken.
1977   U.S. News & World Rep. (Nexis) 7 Nov. (Labor) 79   Seattle is taking part of its 15 millions to remodel the zoo and the Seattle Center complex, site of the famous ‘space needle’.
2000   A. Bourdain Kitchen Confid. (2001) 267   The plates were white, no SB logo.., oddball novelty shapes, football field sizes or ozone layer-puncturing space needles of verticality.

1961—2000(Hide quotations)


  space nerve   n.  [after German Raumnerv or French nerf de l'espace (both E. Cyon 1877, in Comptes rendus hebd. de l'Acad. des Sci. 85 1285)] Anatomy (now disused) a branch of the auditory nerve that supplies the semicircular canals.

[1878   Mind 3 563   There should..be distinguished from the nerve of hearing in the eighth pair (which has besides, in fact, two origins) the ‘nerve of space’.]
1880   H. C. Bastian Brain xxiii. 470   It must, moreover, not be forgotten that, according to Cyon.., what is named by him as the Space-nerve (Raumnerv) is also bound up with..the trunk commonly known as the ‘Auditory’.
1925   T. McCrae Osler's Princ. Pract. Med. (ed. 10) 1074   The central connections of the nuclei of the ‘space nerve’ with those of the ocular muscles are very close.

1880—1925(Hide quotations)


  space observatory   n. Astronautics an astronomical observatory in space, esp. a remotely controlled one in earth orbit.

1952   F. L. Whipple in C. Ryan Across Space Frontier 136   Our space observatory can give us vital information as to how some stars die in a spectacular blaze of glory.
1972   Guardian 22 Aug. 2/4   A space observatory, Copernicus, was launched here today, the fourth to be put in orbit.
1997   Sci. News 27 Sept. 200/1   The Infrared Space Observatory (ISO) spends much of its time studying dying stars in the Milky Way and emissions from galaxies lying far beyond it.

1952—1997(Hide quotations)


  space-occupying lesion   n. Medicine a tumour or other mass which displaces or compresses normal tissue.

1937   Lancet 5 June 1355/2   It is surprising that in the absence of a space-occupying lesion or abnormally fragile blood-vessel, the central nervous system can sustain such an insult without apparent damage.
2003   Independent (Nexis) 21 Aug. 24   The symptoms persisted and he was found to have a 4mm space occupying lesion in the occipital lobe of the left side of the brain.

1937—2003(Hide quotations)


  space opera   n.  [after soap opera n.] originally U.S. a science fiction story or drama set in space; space fiction esp. of an unsophisticated or clichéd type.

1941   ‘B. Tucker’ in Le Zombie Jan. 9   In these hectic days of phrase-coining, we offer one. Westerns are called ‘horse operas’, the morning housewife tear-jerkers are called ‘soap operas’. For the hacky, grinding, stinking, outworn space-ship yarn, or world-saving for that matter, we offer ‘space opera’.
1949   Sat. Rev. Lit. (U.S.) 24 Dec. 7/3   No less than eight of this year's crop of science-fiction novels are what is known in the trade as ‘space operas’—books built round the theme of interplanetary travel.
1960   K. Amis New Maps of Hell ii. 44   In space-opera, Mars takes the place of Arizona with a few physical alterations, the hero totes a blaster instead of a six-gun.
2007   Independent (Nexis) 27 Oct. 48   The..laser-targeted space opera packs more drive and charm than its CGI-stunted prequels.

1941—2007(Hide quotations)


  space-order   n. an ordering of points, objects, or events in space.

1876   Cornhill Mag. Nov. 546   Hence the perfect space order which reigns in many of our dreams, and which serves to give such a degree of objective reality to our fancies, must be referred to association as much as any accidental sequence of ideas.
1890   W. James Princ. Psychol. II. xx. 276   The obvious objection is that mere serial order is a genus, and space-order a very peculiar species of that genus.
1927   B. Russell Outl. Philos. iv. 50   A written word is a series of pieces of matter, having an essential space-order.
1983   Elem. School Jrnl. 84 12   Connect your sentences with words that show space order, such as on top of, next to, beside.

1876—1983(Hide quotations)


  space physics n. the branch of physics concerned with outer space and celestial objects, esp. ones within the solar system.

1955   Independent Press–Telegram (Long Beach, Calif.) 31 July a19/7   Space medicine is a much more difficult subject than space physics.
1962   F. I. Ordway et al. Basic Astronautics iv. 117   An important characteristic of space physics is that it is closely related to two aspects of geophysics, namely atmospheric physics and ionospherics.
1996   Q. Jrnl. Royal Astron. Soc. 37 613   University students can spend a year studying atmospheric/space physics.

1955—1996(Hide quotations)


  spaceplane   n. Astronautics a reusable rocket-powered spacecraft resembling a winged aircraft, which lands like a conventional aircraft or glider; cf. shuttle n.1 8c.A spaceplane may be either a suborbital type that is lifted by a carrier aircraft before ascending further, or an orbital type that takes off vertically.

1957   Hammond (Indiana) Times 24 Dec. b8/2   Manned space planes and not missiles will determine victory in the next war.
1978   N.Y. Times Mag. 29 Jan. 26   Designed to take off like a rocket, fly in orbit like a spacecraft, and return to a runway landing like a glider, these huge spaceplanes are expected to make the near reaches of space more accessible than ever before.
1992   World Monitor Mar. 40/1   The H-2 is designed to give Japan independent means of lofting heavy satellites and space probes, and eventually, its own spaceplane named Hope.
2005   C. Stross Accelerando vi. 234   This is her first and final vacation before the Franklin Trust straps her inside the payload pod of a Shenzhou spaceplane and blasts her into orbit from Xinkiang.

1957—2005(Hide quotations)


  space platform   n. Astronautics = space station n.

1951   Mt. Pleasant (Iowa) News 2 Aug. 6/1   American scientists would have at least an outside chance for success if they started work today on a space platform that would circle the earth indefinitely.
1980   M. Babson Dangerous to Know vii. 47   She'd crashed like a chunk of rubble from an abandoned space platform.
2003   Wall St. Jrnl. 12 Dec. b1/1   Building a space platform at the orbital point called L1..turns out to be one way to test it, launching nuclear-propelled spacecraft to the moon.

1951—2003(Hide quotations)


  space port   n. a base or facility from which spacecraft are launched; (in science fiction) a place at which spaceships take off and land.

1930   M. J. Breuer & J. Williamson in Amazing Stories Q. Winter 29/1   The space-ports at the three great cities, were, of course, occupied or blockaded by the Tellurian fleets; and Doane was obliged to make his bases of operations the lonely craters that once had been pirate strongholds.
1962   Daily Progress (Charlottesville, Va.) 23 Feb. 11   After these few words, Glenn set out for the ride through brilliant sunshine to this space port—where it all began—and his meeting with President Kennedy.
1977   Time 30 May 45/2   For one scene, set in a brawling space-port bar, the casting director went to a London firm called Uglies, Ltd.
2007   Acta Astronautica 61 89/2   The Moon is Earth's natural spaceport and can be used for a number of scientific and industrial space applications.

1930—2007(Hide quotations)


  space probe   n. Astronautics an unmanned spacecraft for research or reconnaissance.

[1955   E. Burgess Frontier to Space viii. 152   We would then have the deep-space probe.]
1958   Listener 20 Nov. 822/1   Direct contact between some form of space probe and the moon..must be close at hand.
1977   Whitaker's Almanack 158/2   A Russian space probe has revealed that the lower layers [of Venus] are extremely dense.
1990   J. D. Barrow Theories of Everything (1991) vii. 142   Certain species of complexity, those that are advanced enough to launch spaceprobes or send radio messages, either do not exist or do not wish to communicate.
2007   Brantford (Ont.) Expositor (Nexis) 23 June d12   Many of the pictures from Hubble and other space probes are ‘false colour’ pictures that do not look like the object at all.

1958—2007(Hide quotations)


  space programme   n. a programme of space exploration and research into space technology.

1958   New Statesman 6 Sept. 263/2   It was Congress, rather than the President, that took the initiative in pushing a space programme.
1977   B. Langley Death Stalk ii. 23   A number of senators had a vested interest in seeing that the space programme continued.
2005   N.Y. Times (National ed.) 18 May c4/2   Another Air Force space program..aims to hurl cylinders of tungsten, titanium or uranium from the edge of space to destroy targets on the ground.

1958—2005(Hide quotations)


  space race n. the competition between nations to be first to achieve any of various objectives in space exploration.

1955   Albuquerque (New Mexico) Jrnl. 8 May   If we beat the Russians in this space race, it will be because we've been free to make mistakes.
1967   M. Kenyon Whole Hog iii. 31   If you've got something which could keep the same men..in the capsules..the space race would be won.
1978   Nature 9 Mar. 119/2   Czechoslovakia has won the ‘little space race’ for the third nation to put a citizen into orbit.
2007   Daily Record (Nexis) 11 June 8   The world's superpowers have always dominated the space race.

1955—2007(Hide quotations)


  space-reddened adj. Astronomy (now rare) (of a star) that has been subject to space reddening; cf. redshifted adj.

1938   Rep. Progress Physics 5 246   The implication is that distant stars showing B-type absorption are space-reddened.
1959   Listener 24 Dec. 1111/2   The stars are said to be space-reddened. In the same way atmospheric dust causes the sun to appear red at sunset.

1938—1959(Hide quotations)


  space reddening   n. Astronomy (now rare) the reddening of starlight as a result of wavelength-dependent absorption and scattering by interstellar dust.

1931   Astrophysical Jrnl. 75 392   The differential absorption or space reddening at 1000 parsecs in the galactic plane is unquestionably real.
1951   Times 24 May 3/3   Even here some considerable space-reddening exists.

1931—1951(Hide quotations)


  space relay   n. Astronautics a radio relay station set in space.

1958   Listener 4 Dec. 910/1   The result implied that the moon could be used as a space relay for transatlantic radio communication.
1988   Acta Astronautica 17 143   This experiment pleads for an actual international S-Band network, capable of positioning satellites until the end of the 90's when space relay systems are able to provide by themselves this kind of service.
2005   Hollywood Reporter (Nexis) 19 Dec.   Even the future satellite transmission route remains open to question because both platforms presently use rival space relays.

1958—2005(Hide quotations)


  space rock n. Music a type of progressive rock music characterized by ambient instrumental passages and themes taken from science fiction (cf. progressive rock n. at progressive adj. and n. Compounds).

1970   Times 12 Dec. 15/3   The band has managed to retain its strong character through a dozen changes of..style, from folk/rock through space/rock and raga/rock to country/rock.
2005   Wire Dec. 68/3   Landing's music is a minimalist strand of space rock, where skeletal structures are stretched out to form epic, near static blocks of sound.

1970—2005(Hide quotations)


  space rocket   n. a rocket designed to travel beyond the earth's atmosphere.

1928   Modesto (Calif.) News–Herald 28 Apr.   Prof. Goddard has said the space rocket is no idle dream but an actual scientific possibility.
1958   Listener 16 Oct. 606/1   A space-rocket, aimed towards the moon, is successfully launched from Cape Canaveral.
2000   Film Q. Autumn 43/2   Vaudevillian booze jokes..fly as fast as the film's space-rocket speeding merrily to Mars.

1928—2000(Hide quotations)


  space satellite   n. = satellite n. 2b.

1952   Portsmouth (Ohio) Times 2 Aug. 4/6   An annual space symposium... Includes discussions and presentation of papers in such fields as space communication, building a space satellite.
1974   P. Cattermole All about Space Exploration vi. 74   Unmanned space satellites had been approved by the U.S. Government.
2004   N.Y. Mag. 22 Aug. 136/2   With her network of spyware—from thumbprinting, retinal scanning, and face-recognition to snapshooting space satellites—she can see through the walls like Superman.

1952—2004(Hide quotations)


  space saver   n. something which takes up as little space as possible or is designed to make the most economical use of available room.

1934   Music & Lett. 15 188   His style, it is true, is tightly packed with epithets, but they are space-savers rather than space-fillers, and would expand into whole sentences of our looser English prose.
1946   Business Week 23 Feb. 19/2 (caption)    Developed for proximity fuses, radio circuits ‘printed’ on ceramic plates are space savers adaptable to miniature pocket receivers.
2001   Times 4 Apr. ii. 24/3   Spiral staircases don't need to be anchored to a wall so they are often viewed as space-savers.

1934—2001(Hide quotations)


  space-saving adj. and n.  (a) adj. that uses space economically; that relates to or enables the economical use of available room;  (b) n. the action or practice of using space economically.

1856   Metropolitan 4 572   The teacher is enabled immediately to use those space-saving contrivances.
1921   Sci. Amer. 30 July 79/1   Home Building..Many unique space-saving devices are now being used.
1934   Webster's New Internat. Dict. Eng. Lang.   Spacesaving, n.
1936   Punch 11 Mar. 287/1   For space-saving reasons, [I] have exchanged the old edition of the D.N.B. for its India paper form.
1978   M. Ward & N. Ward Home in Twenties & Thirties 23   Cost saving was one necessity, space saving another.
2004   Wanderlust June 71/1   The two-berth rooms have nifty en suite showers with a space-saving foldaway toilet and handbasin.

1856—2004(Hide quotations)


  space science   n. the branches of science collectively that deal with regions beyond the earth or beyond the earth's atmosphere, including astronomy, astrophysics, and exobiology.

1955   San Mateo (Calif.) Times 30 July 1/2   Western observers in Moscow believed Russia would accept the American offer to co-operate in space science as set forth in a White House announcement.
1978   Nature 16 Feb. 599/1   If the future facing space science 20 years ago lay full of hope and promise, the symposium indicated how confused and uncertain the picture is today.
2004   N.Y. Times (National ed.) 25 June a20/6   The fourth section, the Science Directorate, will combine the agency's space science and earth science offices.

1955—2004(Hide quotations)


  space scientist   n. an expert or specialist in space science.

1953   M. O. Hyde Flight Today & Tomorrow 100   Space scientists look to the rocket to carry them beyond the earth.
1969   Times 2 May 16/4   Space scientists have discovered six concentrations of dense material below the surface of the moon.
1999   About the Authors in C. Pellegrino & G. Zebrowski Star Trek: Next Generation: Dyson Sphere 233   He has been described by Stephen Jay Gould as a space scientist who occasionally looks down.

1953—1999(Hide quotations)


  space shot   n. the launch of a spacecraft and its subsequent progress in space.

1957   Long Beach (Calif.) Press-Telegram 9 Oct. e1/1   4,000-mile space shot said near... A..four-stage rocket is being tested at Redstone arsenal in preparation for a hoped-for record jaunt of 4,000 miles into space.
1977   D. Bagley Enemy xxxii. 259   Designing a trajectory for a space shot to Pluto.
2007   Los Angeles Times (Nexis) 29 Apr. f10   A successful businessman who started a company that helped design parts for the early unmanned space shots.

1957—2007(Hide quotations)


  space shuttle   n. Science Fiction and Astronautics = shuttle n.1 8c.

1950   ‘N. Menasco’ in Astounding Sci. Fiction Oct. 67/2   In fact it had not been visible a month ago when the pilot of my tiny space shuttle dropped me off in the dark at his cottage.
1964   H. P. Lynn in S. E. Whitfield & G. Roddenberry Making of ‘Star Trek’ (1968) i. vi. 91   Docking is likely to occur by having the large ship ahead of the space shuttle or taxi. As the Enterprise slows down, the taxi nears it from the rear.
1969   New Scientist 5 June 513/2   NASA has announced the formation of task groups to look into..a re-usable low-cost ‘Space Shuttle’ to relay men and materials to and from the [space] station.
1986   Daily Tel. 29 Jan. 1/3   The commander of the flight, Francis Scobee, 46, was making his second space shuttle mission.
2006   Wired Sept. 29   Late next year the new facility will ride a space shuttle into orbit, dock with the ISS, and become one of the biggest all-purpose science laboratories in space.

1950—2006(Hide quotations)


  space-sick adj. Science Fiction and Astronautics suffering from space sickness.

1912   H. Gernsback in Mod. Electrics Mar. 884/2   For the first time since he left Earth he became space-sick.
1949   A. C. Clarke Across Sea of Stars (1959) 93   I was sure I'd never be space sick.
1971   New Yorker 27 Feb. 32   If an astronaut were made to move his hand repeatedly in the wrong direction in relation to the spin, he could easily get spacesick.
2006   Wired Apr. 42/2   If you get seasick, airsick, or carsick, you're likely to get spacesick, too.

1912—2006(Hide quotations)


  space sickness n. Science Fiction and Astronautics a form of motion sickness resulting from weightlessness in space.

1912   H. Gernsback in Mod. Electrics Mar. 844/2   Space-sickness is one of the most peculiar sensations that can befall a human being.
1951   A. C. Clarke Sands of Mars i. 3   Space-sickness was a thing of the past.
1969   New Scientist 2 Oct. 28/1   The Russian cosmonaut Titov was the first to complain of space sickness in 1961.
1998   Guardian 12 Mar. ii. 20/2   Sufferers from ‘space sickness’ will be able to take time out in a room with artificial gravity.

1912—1998(Hide quotations)


  space simulator   n. a device which simulates the conditions of space, or the interior and behaviour of a spacecraft.

1956   Daily Rev. (Hayward, Calif.) 4 Apr. 20/2 (heading)    Young airman ‘returns’ from trip in ‘space simulator’.
1974   Sci. & Techn. Aerospace Rep. 12 37 (heading)    Radiometer for measuring a wide range of irradiances in space simulators.
2007   Star-Ledger (Newark, New Jersey) (Nexis) 1 July (Travel) 6   This space simulator spins riders in a centrifuge that subjects them to twice the normal force of gravity.

1956—2007(Hide quotations)


  spacespeak   n. the language or jargon associated with, or considered characteristic of, workers in the space industry.

1963   Rec. Acad. 152 (title)    A study of linguistic characteristics of ‘space speak’.
1966   Science 13 May 875/1   We read of ‘space speak’ on every hand. Newspapers and magazines discuss it in their science columns, and popular fancy seems to have been captured by it. The belief is that the space effort has given us, in addition to the possibility of going to the moon, a new linguistic phenomenon.
1982   M. Leapman Yankee Doodles iii. 175   Transiting is a typical piece of spacespeak in that it makes a verb out of a noun.
1994   BBC Holidays Oct. 42/2   We were issued with inch-thick manuals containing diagrams of electrical systems and booster rockets and, most importantly of all, a guide to spacespeak.

1963—1994(Hide quotations)


  space stage   n. Theatre an abstract stage set with little or no scenery, on which lighting effects are typically used to focus on the significant action and suggest different settings.

1928   J. Dolman Art of Play Production xviii. 397   Three types of modern stages have..been reasonably successful in accomplishing the true purpose of formalism. One is..the so-called ‘space stage’, the essential feature of which is light, so controlled as to reveal only the significant action and to suppress the background altogether in a void of darkness. The methods of the space stage are..adaptable to the purposes of expressionism.
1961   20th Cent. Feb. 121   A space stage..a broad platform with no barrier between audience and performer.
1984   Drama Rev. 28 108   This kind of ‘space stage’, with violent contrasts of red, black and white would later become emblematic of expressionist scenography in the United States and Europe during the 1920s.

1928—1984(Hide quotations)


  space staging   n. the action or practice of using a space stage; staging of this sort.

1937   Amarillo (Texas) Globe 16 Dec. 6/2   A new medium, space staging, will be employed in the production.
1941   J. Gassner Producing the Play ii. 410   Orson Welles faced this problem of space on the small stage of his Mercury Theatre. He solved it successfully with ‘space-staging’, picking out acting areas with spots of light.
1959   Listener 9 July 73/1   A television equivalent to Brechtian ‘space staging’.
1997   E. Menta Magic World behind Curtain iii. 102   According to one performer in the play, there was a lack of budget, and ultimately, there was a spare ‘space staging’ look to the show.

1937—1997(Hide quotations)


  space station   n. Astronautics a large artificial satellite intended as a long-term base for manned operations in space.

[1929   Science Wonder Stories Sept. 365 (heading)    The spatial station as a basis for spatial travel.]
1930   H. Gernsback in Air Wonder Stories Apr. 869/1   It might be asked: what useful purpose would be served by converting a space-flyer into a permanent, rapidly-revolving satellite of the earth in this manner? Professor Hermann Oberth, perhaps the greatest authority on interplanetary space, points out many uses for such revolving ‘space stations’, as he calls them.
1931   Kingston (N.Y.) Daily Freeman 2 June 2/2   Joined, they [sc. rocket units] would form a hermetically sealed space station with oxygen supply for its crew and surplus fuel for rockets en route to more distant goals.
1956   J. G. Porter in A. Pryce-Jones New Outl. Mod. Knowl. 135   We are to visualize a space station, a sort of artificial satellite of the earth which is to act as a landing stage for all space ships.
1979   A. C. Clarke Fountains of Paradise 169   A space-station assembly supervisor, accustomed to working under zero gravity, had forgotten that though he was in space he was not in orbit.
2004   New Scientist 2 Oct. 6/4   NASA might evacuate the International Space Station if oxygen reserves drop lower than 45 days.

1930—2004(Hide quotations)


  spacesuit   n. Science Fiction and Astronautics a sealed and pressurized garment which protects the wearer against the conditions of space.

1929   Science Wonder Stories July 175/1   Normal communication by speech would be impossible. Of course, this is not true of enclosed, air-filled rooms... But it is true when one is out ‘in the open’ (in the space suit).
1962   J. Glenn et al. in Into Orbit 244   G-suits are not to be confused with pressure suits (or, now, spacesuits) which the Astronaut wears during space flight to maintain atmospheric pressure at high altitudes.
1979   D. Adams Hitch Hiker's Guide to Galaxy iii. 25   He will automatically assume he is also in possession of a toothbrush,..space suit etc., etc.
2006   N.Y. Times (National ed.) 12 Sept. a16/4   Mr. Tanner and Commander Stefanyshyn-Piper are spending the night in the station's airlock at low atmospheric pressure to avoid the bends when they get into their low-pressure spacesuits.

1929—2006(Hide quotations)


  spacesuited adj. Science Fiction and Astronautics wearing a spacesuit.

1939   C. Simak in Astounding Sci.-Fiction Feb. 59/1   As he spoke, the lock of the radio shack opened and a spacesuited figure strode across the field to meet them.
1977   Daily Mirror 10 May 19/2   A Staffordshire housewife..saw two Space-suited people with long blonde hair looking down at her from a craft above her house.
2000   Atlantic Monthly Aug. 48/1   His ship had space-suited workers..and micron socks hanging from the scuppers to purify the rainwater that drained from its immaculate decks.

1939—2000(Hide quotations)


  space technology   n. technology related to the exploration of and activity in space, and with the development of satellites, rockets, etc., needed for this; an example of such technology.

1957   Post-Standard (Syracuse, N.Y.) 20 Oct. 4/3   In contrast, the Kremlin has established a special commission on interplanetary travel with unlimited funds to explore space technology.
1972   Guardian 10 July 11/7   France..and West Germany [are] eager to embrace the most advanced of space technologies.
2002   OECD Sci., Technol. & Industry Outlook 2002 ii. 58   In Korea, high priority areas for public funding for R&D include ICT..and space technology.

1957—2002(Hide quotations)


space-telegrapher   n. Obsolete rare a person concerned with radio-telegraphy, a radio-telegraphist.

1899   Nature 12 Jan. 249   The problem is now fair game for the space-telegraphers.

1899—1899(Hide quotations)


  space telegraphy   n. now historical = radio-telegraphy n.

1897   Proc. Physical Soc. 16 58   Discrimination by syntony is possible with magnetic systems of space telegraphy.
1902   G. Marconi in Proc. Royal Soc. 71 344   Some long-distance space telegraphy tests [were] carried out towards the end of February last.
1983   Isis 74 349   Preece was apparently under the impression that Hertz's work was related to his own interest in methods of space telegraphy by induced currents.

1897—1983(Hide quotations)


  space telescope   n. (originally) a telescope in space; (now) spec. an astronomical telescope that operates by remote control in earth orbit to avoid interference from the earth's atmosphere.

1953   Daily Gleaner (Kingston, Jamaica) 6 Mar. 8/1   A space telescope in an observatory close to the space station will be used for taking pictures ‘in minute detail’ of the earth 1,075 miles below.
1957   Kerville (Texas) Times 12 Nov. 1   Big space telescope may learn of other life... Men in space could build giant telescopes, far more powerful than any on earth.
1979   M.R. Chartrand III Eye in Sky in O. Davis Omni Bk. of Space 199   The space telescope will be carried into orbit by the space shuttle, the ‘space truck’ of the 1980s.
2007   Nature 22 Feb. p. ix   Using the Spitzer Space Telescope, an infrared spectrum has been obtained for the transiting ‘hot Jupiter’ HD 209458b.

1953—2007(Hide quotations)


  space-to-ground adj. designating an action or operation directed at the earth from outer space; involving such action.

1958   C. C. Adams et al. Space Flight 144   Whether bombing or space-to-ground missile attacks would be any more effective from such a [space] station has not been established.
1972   A. D. Foster Tar-Aiym Krang 175   Being intended for simple ground-to-space, space-to-ground flights, it had limited cruising range.
2007   States News Service Newswire (Nexis) 6 Apr.   The two crews held a space-to-ground conference on Wednesday discussing upcoming mission activities.

1958—2007(Hide quotations)


  space tourism n. the practice of travelling into space for recreational purposes.

1967   Hartford (Connecticut) Courant 29 Oct. 16 c/5   With space tourism and manned colonization of the moon, an efficient nuclear-powered clipper ship, refuelable in orbit, would be needed.
1988   Financial Times (Nexis) 15 Feb. 21   If space tourism does become an important business, the Russians, or at any rate any Western tour operators smart enough to do deals with them, are likely to be in the lead.
2003   Wired Jan. 38/1   The contest is intended to spark the space tourism industry, and Carmack says he plans to start shuttling passengers in a few years.

1967—2003(Hide quotations)


  space tourist   n.  (a) a person who travels in space, esp. one who pays to go into space for recreational purposes;  (b) an extraterrestrial.

1937   Sci. Amer. Jan. 77/1   Could our imaginary space-tourist locate his planet so that the effects of general relativity would at times become conspicuous to the immediate gaze?
1948   Washington Post 3 Oct. b3/2   We space tourists are left alone with our thoughts.
1978   Washington Post 24 Dec. c7/3   Some who believe in ancient astronauts think the star symbol was beamed down from the skies by space tourists.
1983   Lethbridge (Alberta) Herald 16 Dec. a4   The first flight of a shuttle with a space tourist aboard could come as soon as 1985.
2001   Metro Today 10 Aug. 20/2   Moscow is preparing to send more space tourists rocketing into orbit next year.
2006   Focus Nov. 17/4   Although Ansari is widely described as the world's first female space tourist, it could be argued that honour goes to Brit Helen Sharman, who was selected to go into space in 1991 after responding to a radio advert.

1937—2006(Hide quotations)


  space vehicle   n. a spacecraft.

1930   Sci. Wonder Stories Jan. 681/2   It might be a space vehicle from a distant planet.
1959   Times 15 Sept. 11/3   In putting a space vehicle on to the moon the Russians have provided the most complete..proof of the length of the lead that they now hold.
1977   ‘M. Underwood’ Fatal Trip xx. 117   We can often track a load of porn..as successfully as the Americans track a space vehicle..to Mars.
2005   N.Y. Times (National ed.) 17 June a12/6   Rear Adm. Craig E. Steidle..led efforts to develop the next-generation crewed space vehicle.

1930—2005(Hide quotations)


  space velocity   n. Astronomy the velocity in space relative to the sun of a star or other object outside the solar system, equal to the vector sum of the proper motion of the object and its radial velocity.

1909   Science 19 Nov. 732/2   The resulting space velocity of this star is about 261 km. per second.
2001   F. Watson in P. Moore 2002 Yearbk. Astron. ii. 239   By using alternative methods of obtaining distances for a local subset of these galaxies.., it will be possible to estimate their actual space velocities over and above their motion due to the expansion of the Universe.

1909—2001(Hide quotations)


  space warp   n. a distortion of space-time, esp. (Science Fiction) an imaginary one that enables space travellers to make journeys that would be contrary to the known laws of physics.

1936   Astounding Stories May 22/2   Every atom of ship load and crew was deflected infinitesimally from the space-time continuum of four dimensions, and thus freed of the ordinary limitations of acceleration and velocity, was driven around space, rather than through it, by a direct reaction against the space warp itself.
1953   Galaxy Sci. Fiction Nov. 53/2   He read the next one..about a star-ship that hit a space warp and got hurled into another universe.
1990   Endeavour 14 111/2   The size of the Universe can be described only once its shape in terms of space curvature is known, and then the size can be described only by the radius of curvature of the space warp.
1994   B. Bova Craft of Writing Sci. Fiction that Sells vi. 43   It can lead to stories that are filled with jargon such as space warp, psionics, antigravs, droids and such.

1936—1994(Hide quotations)


  space washer   n. a washer which serves to keep parts of a machine, etc., at a fixed distance apart.

1934   Times 14 Aug. 33/6   In 1922 a number of plates assembled mainly with brass rods and space washers was considered good enough providing it had the capacity and tuned in on or two stations.
1989   Metallurgia (Nexis) June s6   By careful design, cost saving can be achieved by eliminating ancillary components such as space washers, and making quicker assembly times possible.

1934—1989(Hide quotations)


  space wave   n.  [in sense (b)   after German Raumwelle (A. Sommerfeld 1911, in Jahrb. der drahtlosen Telegr. u. Teleph. 4 166)]  (a) a wave in three dimension (as opposed to one confined to a plane or a surface);  (b) Radio a radio wave that passes from a transmitter to a receiver through space, either directly (without reflection) or with reflection from the ground.

1899   Science 17 Mar. 390/2   The plate now carries all the rear ends of the levers with it, which much facilitates the change from plane to space waves, and vice versa.
1917   Wireless World 5 151   The invention of thoroughly valid methods of measuring the true space wave radiation from transmitting aerials.
1943   F. E. Terman Radio Engineers' Handbk. x. 674   The ground wave can conveniently be divided into two components, a surface wave and a space wave.
1974   P. K. Harvey & K. J. Bohlman Stereo F.M. Radio Handbk. vii. 145   The range of the space-wave is chiefly determined by the height of the transmitting and receiving aerials.
2006   Jrnl. Physics D 39 4436/2   When the particles have periodic arrangement with a certain wave number, then a scattered signal can be detected as a space wave.

1899—2006(Hide quotations)


  spaceway   n. Science Fiction an established route used by space travellers; usually in plural.

1933   C. L. Moore Shambleau in Weird Tales Nov. 539/2   He heard the gossip of the spaceways, news from a dozen planets of a thousand different events; he heard the latest joke about the Venusian Emperor and the latest report on the Chino-Aryan war and the latest song hot from the lips of Rose Robertson, whom every man on the civilized planets adored as ‘the Georgia Rose’.
1947   Astounding Sci. Fiction Sept. 171   You can't believe..your eyes... It was a platitude of the spaceways.
2001   B. Broady In this Block there lives Slag 155   This is our final night. In a few hours we'll be heading home across the spaceways. When we travel to Saturn we don't go round the sun, we just go straight through it.

1933—2001(Hide quotations)


  space weather n. environmental conditions in space arising from the flux of electromagnetic radiation and charged particles, esp. that emitted by the sun and regarded as a potential threat to telecommunications, electronics, and power supplies on earth.

1968   Public Admin. Rev. 28 333/2 (table)    Telecommunications and space services. Telecommunications. Space ‘weather’ forecasting.
2007   N.Y. Times (National ed.) 7 Jan. i. 19/2   Missions at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration are also threatened... Potential victims included programs to explore Mars, astrophysics and space weather.

1968—2007(Hide quotations)


This entry has been updated (OED Third Edition, December 2008).

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