anti-gravitation n.

a hypothetical force opposed to gravity

Also as adj.

  • 1878 Punch’s Almanack for 1879 9 Dec. 2 (caption) page image

    Edison’s anti-gravitation under-clothing. Enables the Wearers thereof to suspend at will the Force of Gravity, so that they can Fan themselves gracefully about the Room.

  • 1896 G. P. Lathrop In the Deep of Time in Morning Times (Washington, DC) 13 Dec. 24/2 page image George Parsons Lathrop bibliography

    Bronson, it appeared, was a daring aeronaut, who had made the attempt to fly to Mars in a newly invented ‘antigravitation machine’ known as the Insterstellar [sic] Express. He was now some ten or twelve hours overdue.

  • 1900 R. W. Cole Struggle for Empire i. 10 Robert W. Cole bibliography

    Gravity could be annihilated at will, and there was an enormous force at the disposal of the engineers, so cigar-shaped vessels were made perfectly air-tight, and fitted with engines for acting on the ether of space, and with the anti-gravitation apparatus.

  • 1927 H. Gernsback Interplanetary Travel in Amazing Stories Feb. 981/1 page image Hugo Gernsback bibliography

    No doubt in time we shall find means for negativing [sic] gravitation, but until that time such anti-gravitation machines must lie in the distant future.

  • 1930 F. M. Currier tr. T. Wolff in Science Wonder Stories Feb. 788/2 page image

    In 1879 it was reported that Edison had made an invention for eliminating gravity… The ‘Wizard of Menlo Park’ has repeatedly come before the public with inventions which have proved to be products more of imagination than of possibility. At any rate, at that time there was a rumor current of Edison’s ‘Anti-Gravitation’; and a witty cartoonist of the time took advantage of this helpful substance.

  • 1962 V. F. Lenzen Towards a Unified Cosmology in Philos. Sci. Apr. 217

    A new theory of gravitation is proposed, according to which the extinction of a particle sets up quantized waves of curvature that constitute the gravitational field. Inversely, the origin of matter is the source of waves of anti-gravitation.

  • 1993 P. J. Thomas in Quantum Spring–Summer 72/3

    High technology—like antigravitation and intelligent machines—unworkable in densely occupied regions, can only blossom at the edges of the galaxy, and in fact the easier communications make them the real ‘center’ for travel and exchanges: civilization, in a word.


Research requirements

antedating 1878

Earliest cite

Punch's Almanack

Research History
Jeff Prucher submitted a 1930 cite from T. Wolf's article "Can Man Free Himself From Gravity" in Science Wonder Stories.
Jeff Prucher submitted a 1993 cite from a review by Pascal J. Thomas of Vernor Vinge's "A Fire Upon the Deep".
Imran Ghory submitted a 1962 article from the journal "Science", V. F. Lenzen's "Towards a Unified Cosmology".
Jesse Sheidlower submitted a 1927 editorial from Hugo Gernsback in Amazing Stories.
Mark Schubin submitted an 1878 cite in reference to Thomas Edison from Punch's Almanack.
Simon Koppel submitted a 1900 cite from R. W. Cole's The Struggle for Empire.
Simon Koppel submitted an 1896 cite from G. P. Lathrop.

Ralf Brown suggested, from his etext collection, Homer Eon Flint's "The Lord of Death" (1919), and Hugo Gernsback's "Ralph 124C41+" (1911/1925) as likely sources for cites. We would like to see cites from the original print publication of these texts.

Last modified 2021-04-15 11:06:08
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.