space elevator

noun

plural space elevators
: a theoretical structure consisting primarily of a long cable that is anchored at the ground, at the midpoint by a satellite in geosynchronous orbit, and at its outer extremity to another mass (such as an asteroid), and that is designed to replace rockets as a method of transporting people and goods into outer space
In a little-noticed article, Artsutanov proposed an immense "heavenly funicular," or space elevator—a geosynchronous satellite with cables reaching up to the heavens and down to Earth.Doug Stewart

Examples of space elevator in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Whoever controls the space elevator controls the future, and that dead CEO might not stay dead. Charlie Jane Anders, Washington Post, 18 July 2023 Elsewhere, several Spider-People chase Miles across the body of a rocket and up what appears to be a space elevator. Stephanie Burt, The New Yorker, 14 June 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'space elevator.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1979, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of space elevator was in 1979

Dictionary Entries Near space elevator

Cite this Entry

“Space elevator.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/space%20elevator. Accessed 21 May. 2024.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!