laser cannon n.

a large weapon, similar in size to a cannon, that fires a laser


  • 1962 Family Weekly Magazine 16 Sept. 4/3

    In the event of an all-out war, an American artillery sergeant behind a small laser 'cannon' conceivably could point a powerful light beam at an enemy missile plunging toward us—and the light would track the incoming warhead and destroy it with one intense burst.

  • 1964 H. P. Lynn Jr. Letter to Gene Roddenberry 14 Sept. in S. E. Whitfield & G. Roddenberry Making of ‘Star Trek’ (1968) i. vi. 94 bibliography

    A new name would also serve to silence critics who will contend that a Laser cannon will not whip up dust and will not need to be dug-in.

  • 1966 L. Niven Neutron Star in Worlds of If Oct. 17/1 page image Larry Niven bibliography

    Below me was the length of the fusion tube; to the left, the laser cannon.

  • 1971 L. Niven Fourth Profession in Quark Aug. 209 Larry Niven bibliography

    ‘Jerome Finney…showed that the spectrum was the light of our own sun, drastically blue-shifted. Some kind of mirror was coming at us, moving at a hell of a clip, but slowing as it came.’ ‘That would mean a light-sail! ’ ‘Why the big deal, Frazer? I thought you already knew. ’ ‘No. This is the first I've heard of it. I don’t read the Sunday supplements. ’ Morris was exasperated. ‘But you knew enough to call a laser cannon a launching laser! ’

  • 1972 A. D. Foster Tar-Aiym Krang 45 Alan Dean Foster bibliography

    Out of the corner of an eye he could see a screen, delicately painted, ruffling in the slight breeze of the chamber’s ventilators. Beyond which no doubt the muzzle of a laser-cannon or other inhospitable device was already trained on them.

  • 1981 M. Resnick Soul Eater i. 8 Mike Resnick bibliography

    He glanced over some of the orders and began estimating what he'd need: a laser cannon, two vibrators, a molecular imploder (if he could get his hands on one somewhere on Northpoint). There'd be the standard hand weapons: the stungun, the screecher, and an old-fashioned laser pistol.

  • 1990 ‘A. A. Rasmussen’ Revolution's Shore xiii. 137 Kate Elliott bibliography

    Below, firing broke out, too distant to harm them, but trucks were moving, and one had turned to display the shadowed cylinder of a laser cannon, pointed at the height.

  • 1998 L. M. Bujold Komarr xv. 214 Lois McMaster Bujold bibliography

    Just like swatting flies with a laser cannon. The aim’s a bit tricky, but it sure takes care of the flies.

  • 1998 K. W. Jeter Star Wars: Mandalorian Armor xvi. 265 K. W. Jeter bibliography

    Zuckuss drew back even farther as the massive shape of D'harhan trod heavily forward, the barrel of the laser cannon, now rendered inert and harmless, slanting disconsolately, the tip of its muzzle almost scraping against the landing dock’s surface.

  • 2001 Dreamwatch Oct. 8/3

    The NX-01 is the smallest of the Enterprise starships, armed with laser cannons and spatial torpedoes.

  • 2019 Y. H. Lee Dragon Pearl xii. 104 Yoon Ha Lee bibliography

    Lieutenant Hyosu made us follow the rules, but she wasn’t too exacting about them, and she was a pretty good teacher. She introduced us to the Pale Lightning’s armaments, from its point defense system to its missiles and laser cannons. By the end of the lesson, my head ached from all the figures I had memorized.

Research requirements

antedating 1962

Research History
Carol Phillips submitted a 1971 cite from Larry Niven's "The Fourth Professsion".
Sue Surova submitted a cite from Larry Niven in the October 1966 If.
Michael Dolbear submitted a 1998 cite from Lois McMaster Bujold's "Komarr".
Ralf Brown and Enoch Forrester simultaneously submitted the same cite from a 1983 reprint of Alan Dean Foster's 1972 "The Tar-Aym Krang".
Douglas Winston submitted a 1998 cite from K.W. Jeter's "Star Wars: The Mandalorian Armor".
Douglas Winston submitted a cite from a 1992 reprint of Mike Resnick's 1981 "The Soul Eater".
Douglas Winston submitted 1990 cites from Alis A. Rasmussen's "Revolution's Shore".
Bill Mullins submitted a 1962 cite from a newspaper database.
Ben Ostrowsky submitted a 2019 cite from Yoon Ha Lee.

Last modified 2021-03-31 21:25:10
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.