energy weapon n.

a weapon that fires a beam of energy; cf. earlier energy gun n.


  • [1937 J. Williamson Blue Spot in Astounding Stories Feb. 125/1 page image Jack Williamson bibliography

    He told my father that I had been attacked and overcome by the material energy weapons of the troglodytes, that I was helpless and in need of aid.]

  • 1941 A. E. van Vogt Seesaw in Astounding Science-Fiction July 60/1 page image A. E. van Vogt bibliography

    The window display was made up of an assortment of rather curiously shaped guns, rifles as well as small arms; and a glowing sign in the window stated: THE FINEST ENERGY WEAPONS IN THE KNOWN UNIVERSE.

  • 1944 F. B. Long Bridgehead in Astounding Science Fiction Aug. 124/1 page image Frank Belknap Long bibliography

    The compact little energy weapon in the Interrogator’s clasp tore a gaping hole in the giant’s chest, spun him about, broke his back, and almost cut him in two.

  • 1960 H. Harrison Misplaced Battleship in Astounding Science Fact & Fiction Apr. 100/1 Harry Harrison bibliography

    There were no witnesses to the tragedy, but a number of monitor stations had picked up the discharge static of a large energy weapon being fired.

  • 1977 D. Moffitt Jupiter Theft 167 Donald Moffitt bibliography

    The tubular thing was obviously an energy weapon of some sort.

  • 1980 D. Broderick Dreaming Dragons (1981) 189 Damien Broderick bibliography

    Into the effulgence of the arc-lit crystal mass, his plumage imperial, Anokersh huj Lers stepped like a prince. He bore no energy weapon; the people dared not risk such potency falling into the hands of the ferals.

  • 1996 D. Weber Honor Among Enemies (1997) 488 David Weber bibliography

    Another light-second and a half, and she could bring the Manty under fire with her energy weapons.

  • 2003 I. M. Banks Look To Windward iv. 70 Iain M. Banks bibliography

    They ran out into the rain; the building behind them burned and slumped and fell, turned to glowing slag by the energy weapons.

  • 2014 G. Mann Engines of War viii. 101 bibliography

    The Dalek fired its energy weapon and the Doctor dived to the floor…, the energy beam…scorching a long, black line into the wall.

Research requirements

antedating 1941

Earliest cite

A.E. van Vogt, The Seesaw

Research History
Mike Christie submitted a 1941 cite from A.E. van Vogt's "The Seesaw".
Mike Christie submitted a 1944 cite from Frank Belknap Long's "Bridgehead".
Michael Dolbear submitted a cite from a 1997 reprint of David Weber's 1996 "Honor Among Enemies".
Ralf Brown located and Fred Galvin verified a 1977 cite from Donald Moffitt's "The Jupiter Theft".
Ralf Brown located and Daniel Frankham verified a cite from a 1981 reprint of Damien Broderick's 1980 "The Dreaming Dragons".
Douglas Winston submitted a cite from a reprint of Harry Harrison's "The Stainless Steel Rat"; Mike Christie verified the cite in the 1960 first magazine appearance.
Jeff Prucher submitted a cite from a 2002 reprint of Iain M. Banks' 2000 "Look to Windward"

Last modified 2020-12-20 18:37:51
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.