probability world n.

an alternate universe, viewed as one of many such which have differing probabilities of existing


  • 1943 A. E. van Vogt Search in Astounding Science-Fiction Jan. 53/2 page image A. E. van Vogt bibliography

    He lived in this probability world of his own until his death in 2874.

  • 1948 C. Harness Time Trap in Astounding Science Fiction August 21/2 page image Charles L. Harness bibliography

    She had the ability to project herself to other probability worlds.

  • 1950 C. D. Simak Time Quarry in Galaxy Science Fiction Dec. 118/2 Clifford D. Simak

    You and I may be no more than puppets in some probability world that will pinch out tomorrow.

  • 1958 A. Budrys Never Meet Again in Infinity Science Fiction Mar. 33/2 Algis Budrys

    He had suspected that the probability world his apparatus could most easily adjust him for would be one in which Germany had lost the war.

  • 1990 G. Dozois Playing the Game in Slow Dancing Through Time Afterword 159 Gardner Dozois

    This started off as a story by Jack called ‘The Alpha Tree’™, about a boy who could see into alternate universes…. I skewed Jack’s idea somewhat, building the story instead around a concept that had long fascinated me—an intuition of how easy it would be to become lost among the billions of probability-worlds that are born and die around us every second of every day.

Research requirements

antedating 1943

Earliest cite

A. E. van Vogt, in Astounding

Research History
Fred Galvin submitted a 1950 cite from Clifford D. Simak's "Time Quarry".
Fred Galvin submitted a 1958 cite from Algis Budrys's 'Never Meet Again'.
Fred Galvin submitted a cite from a 1991 reprint of Poul Anderson's 1951 story "Earthman, Beware!
Mike Christie submitted a reference to a cite from the Aug 1948 ASF, 21/2; Jesse Sheidlower verified it in the Internet Archive.
Jesse Sheidlower submitted a 1943 cite from A. E. van Vogt in Astounding.

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