energy gun n.

a weapon firing a beam of energy n.; = ray gun n.


  • 1917 Motion Picture Magazine Apr. 99/2

    In ‘The Intrigue’, a Pallas picture…, soldiers meet their death as a result of a terrific electrical discharge from a huge energy gun, a purely imaginary contrivance.

  • 1934 R. P. Preston Land of Twilight in Amazing Stories Dec. xiii. 123/2 page image Robert Page Preston bibliography

    When a Verean got momentarily free of his attacker, the little energy-guns did their work…. At last the slaughter was over.

  • 1939 J. R. Fearn Black Empress in Amazing Stories Jan. vi. 109/1 page image John Russell Fearn bibliography

    We’re going to blast the remaining few feet of tunnel and get inside—It’s a cinch to catch her alone. Even if we don’t that energy gun will take care of everything.

  • 1941 A. E. van Vogt Seesaw in Astounding Science-Fiction July 67/2 page image A. E. van Vogt bibliography

    Energy guns!…That’s always been their problem: how to get their weapons close enough to our shops to destroy us.

  • 1947 E. Hamilton Star of Life in Startling Stories Jan. 26/1 page image Edmond Hamilton bibliography

    The energy-guns were in effect small generators capable of ejecting concentrated streams of protons.

  • 1949 A.E. van Vogt Weapon Shops of Isher in Thrilling Wonder Stories Feb. viii. 32/1 page image A. E. van Vogt bibliography

    He was so obviously disconcerted, so fascinated by the showcases with their energy guns. And he gave an account of a weapon shop having appeared in a street in the little city in which he lived

  • 1952 K. F. Crossen Caphian Caper in Thrilling Wonder Stories Dec. 36/2 page image Kendell Foster Crossen bibliography

    As Manning predicted, within twenty four hours one of the Caphian ships appeared and settled to the ground just out of the range of an energy gun. The Rigelian appeared and faced toward them.

  • 1965 J. Brunner Altar On Asconel in Worlds of If Apr. 10/1 page image John Brunner bibliography

    It was small wonder that Ulwyn had been agitated; across his back Vix wore an energy gun which would probably have been capable of razing the gatehouse with a single bolt.

  • 1967 P. Anderson Starfog in Analog Science Fiction/Science Fact Aug. 26/1 Poul Anderson bibliography

    Graydal and Demring must needs use their energy guns at minimum intensity for flashcasters. And even so, they often stumbled.

  • 1973 J. Vance The Asutra in Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction June 28/1 page image Jack Vance bibliography

    He carries an energy gun, which might be instrumental in capturing the ship.

  • 1998 R. Reed Savoir in Asimov’s Science Fiction Aug. 79 page image Robert Reed bibliography

    Mom and I were hiding in the basement, knowing that it was just a matter of days or hours until those awful energy guns would be pointed at us.

  • 2012 D. Lee & M. Lackey She Blinded Me With Science in C. Martin et al. World Divided x. 154 page image Mercedes Lackey Dennis Lee bibliography

    All she could see through the fog and the pain were the open mouths. She couldn’t see the relatively tiny muzzle of the energy gun.

Research requirements

any evidence 1917

Research History
Fred Galvin submitted a 1952 cite from Kendell Foster Crossen's "The Caphian Caper".
Katrina Campbell submitted a cite from a 1985 reprint of John Brunner's 1976 "Interstellar Empire"; Mike Christie verified the cite in the 1965 first edition of "The Altar on Asconel", and Jesse Sheidlower verified it in the original magazine publication that same year in Worlds of If.
Fred Galvin submitted a cite from a 1969 reprint of Poul Anderson's 1967 "Starfog" which Mike Christie verified in the original publication.
Fred Galvin submitted a cite from a 1984 reprint of Isaac Asimov's "In A Good Cause", and subsequently verified the cite in the 1951 original appearance in the Raymond Healy anthology "New Tales of Space and Time".
Fred Galvin submitted a 1949 cite from A.E. van Vogt's "The Weapon Shops of Isher". This novel incorporates the earlier short story "The Seesaw": Fred Galvin submitted a cite from a 1983 reprint, and Mike Christie verified that the term was used in its original publication. (Astounding Science Fiction, July 1941).
Fred Galvin submitted a 1947 cite from Edmond Hamilton's "The Star of Life".
The OED found a 1917 example from a database.
Ben Ostrowsky submitted a 2012 cite.

Last modified 2022-05-06 01:17:02
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.