time machine n.

a machine capable of transporting a person backwards or forwards in time n.

SF Encyclopedia

Time Travel

  • 1894 H. G. Wells in National Observer 17 Mar. 472/2 (title) H. G. Wells

    The time machine.

  • 1906 Punch 17 Jan. 42/1

    He has managed to construct a Time Machine. He claims to have made a successful trip last Monday into the year 1914.

  • 1935 J. R. Fearn Liners of Time in Amazing Stories June 15/2 page image John Russell Fearn bibliography

    ‘And how did you get back?’ ‘By the test time machine Carreno sent into the past many years ago. You can see it now in the museum.’

  • 1943 ‘A. Boucher’ Elsewhen in Astounding Science-Fiction Jan. 114/3 page image Anthony Boucher bibliography

    The one completely practical purpose of a short-range time machine, Mr. Partridge had suddenly realized, was to provide an alibi for murder.

  • 1961 G. C. Edmondson Country Boy in Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction May 72/2 page image G. C. Edmondson bibliography

    How easy, with a time machine, to materialize at midnight in some courthouse and doctor a birth record.

  • 1983 J. Varley Millennium vi. 91 John Varley

    It shifts around in some multidimensional fashion, and when it’s through, no time machine ever existed.

  • 1988 R. Bradbury Toynbee Convector (1989) 3 Ray Bradbury

    Yes, the time machine is on exhibit below.

  • 1992 Science Fiction Age Nov. 26/1

    If the present that is changed doesn’t have a time machine or a time traveller to change the present, then who changed it?

  • 1993 B. Shaw Dimensions (1994) 84–5 Bob Shaw

    Time machines existed in his own age, but it was illegal to use them for forays into the past, so if he really was in Victorian England he was almost certainly stranded.

  • 1994 Analog Science Fiction & Fact Jan. 148/1

    A client…has invented a time machine.

  • 2005 Interzone (#200) Oct. 77/3 page image

    The inventor of a time machine, N can only finance his escapades into the past by throwing in his lot with a media mogul who seizes on the opportunity for the ultimate pay-per-view.


Research requirements

antedating 1894

Earliest cite

H. G. Wells 'The Time Machine' (first magazine appearance)

Research History
The existing OED citation comes from the first book edition of H.G. Wells' "The Time Machine". We have subsequently found this in the earlier magazine appearance in 1894. This detailed bibliography of early versions of this work, maintained by Don and Mary Coleman, refers to several earlier versions, the earliest of which dates to 1888. We would like to check these versions for "time machine", "time traveler", and other terms cited from "The Time Machine". If you have access to any of these versions and would be willing to look for citations, please let us know.

Last modified 2020-12-16 04:08:47
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.