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See also: tardis and TARDIS


The Doctor's TARDIS.

Alternative forms[edit]


From TARDIS, the designation of the bigger-on-the-inside time machine used in the British science-fiction TV series Doctor Who, said in the 1963 story "An Unearthly Child" to be an abbreviation for "Time And Relative Dimension In Space"..


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈtɑːdɪs/
  • (US) IPA(key): /ˈtɑɹdɪs/
  • (file)

Proper noun[edit]

Tardis (plural Tardises)

  1. Alternative form of TARDIS (time machine from the series Doctor Who which is larger on the inside than the outside).
    • 1977 September 15, The Engineer, 245, 61:
      [] in a cubicle on the top floor which, because of its 21st century appearance, is known to everybody as the 'Tardis'.
    • 1998, Rafi Zabor, The Bear Comes Home, page 180:
      "Yeah, just blew in on the Tardis," Bowie said, unwinding a length of scarf from his throat.
    • 2001, Nicholas Cull, ‘Bigger on the inside...’: Doctor Who as British cultural history, in The Historian, Television and Television History (edited by Graham Roberts and Philip M. Taylor), page 99:
      The Tardis required neither expensive special effects nor a complex plot to imagine a British space programme. The Tardis looked like a police box, the audience eventually learned, because it had a 'chameleon circuit' allowing its shape to change to blend in with each new environment, and this circuit had broken when the Doctor first arrived in London.
    • 2009, Lisa Lutz, Curse of the Spellmans, page 299:
      HENRY: Rae, how will you get home?
      RAE: I thought I'd use the Tardis.


Tardis (plural Tardises)

  1. Something which resembles such a machine, either in that it travels through time or in that its interior is or appears to be larger (or more full of information or things) than its exterior suggested.
    • 1990, Norman Bryson, Looking at the Overlooked: Four Essays on Still Life Painting:
      What the designers of the Campanian programmes aim for is something like a 'Tardis effect', the dissolving of actual boundaries into a limitless space []
    • 2008, Charles Fernyhough, The Baby in the Mirror: A Child's World from Birth to Three, page 129:
      There was that little person, in the image of the future she had conjured up; there was something that it was like to be that little person; and it would be the same as what it was like to be this little person. A self is a Tardis, a time-machine: []
    • 2009, Ian Palmer, What to Expect When You're Adopting: a practical guide, →ISBN, page 248:
      British Association of Adoption and Fostering (BAAF) [] BAAF's website is a veritable Tardis of information and I would recommend you go there first.
    • 2012, Jessica L. Jackson, When I First Met You, →ISBN, page 8:
      As impossible as it seemed, all the prizes had come from the cracker, but Sally had no idea how. When the old woman had said the cracker was unusual, Sally hadn't thought she meant that it was bigger on the inside than it appeared on the outside! A veritable Tardis in fact.

Derived terms[edit]