subetheric adj.

of, relating to, or involving a sub-ether n. (esp. with allusion to a means of faster-than-light communication)



  • [1914 Theosophist June 318

    All the varieties of matter in any world—those which in our physical world we call ‘states of matter’, solid, liquid, gaseous, sub-etheric, etheric, sub-atomic—are all formed of aggregations of the ultimate atom.]

  • 1938 J. Williamson Legion of Time in Astounding Science-Fiction May 22/2 Jack Williamson

    Mere probability is all that is left. And my first actual invention was a geodesic tracer, designed for its analysis. It was a semi-mathematical instrument, essentially a refinement of the old harmonic analyzer. Tracing the possible world-lines of material particles through Time, it opened a window to futurity…Here is the chronoscope…The latest development of the instrument. Scansion depends upon a special curved field, through which a sub-etheric radiation is bent into the time-axis, projected forward, and reflected from electronic fields back to the instrument. A stereoscopic image is obtained within the crystal screen, through selective fluorescence to the beat frequencies of the interfering carrier waves projected at right angles from below.

  • 1940 R. A. Heinlein Letter 23 Feb. in R. A. Heinlein & V. Heinlein Grumbles from Grave (1990) 7 Robert A. Heinlein

    I would be interested in taking a crack at your idea of scientists going insane over the uncertainty of truth in the ‘sub-etheric’ field.

  • 1944 Astounding Science-Fiction Mar. 46/2

    These stations warped space by the maintenance of subelectronic charges that produced a subetheric gradient which bent the usable radiations of Sol into a focus. The fact that they were points in space instead of mighty, million mile rings of metal to carry the space-warping charge made the focus of Sol irregular, but it served its purpose and men grew used to the scintillating sun.

  • 1948 G.O. Smith Trans-Galactic Twins in Thrilling Wonder Stories June 14/1

    And instead of trying to reach the stars, he had been trying to communicate between the several inhabited planets by subradio. Did he know anything about sub-etheric wave propagation?

  • 1949 ‘P. Phillips’ Manna in Astounding Science Fiction Feb. 67/1

    Let us review the possibilities, then…remembering that our sub-etheric energy is limited.

  • 1953 R. D. Locke Dark Nuptial in Thrilling Wonder Stories Feb. 65/1

    The information on the matrix is transmitted over tight sub-etheric waves to a receiving station at a velocity equal to that of gravitation. Which has thus far proved to be virtually instantaneous.

  • 1955 I. Asimov Talking Stone in Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction Oct. 114/1 Isaac Asimov

    They're saving power, hoping they'll get picked up. Right now, they're putting everything they've got into a sub-etheric call, I'll bet.

  • 1993 B. Shaw Dimensions (1994) 7 Bob Shaw

    The familiar subetheric voice belonged to Ozzy Drabble, one of Pearce’s oldest friends among the Oscars.

  • 2015 T. Baxendale Deep Time vi. 75 page image Trevor Baxendale bibliography

    Jem’s an astrogation clone, remember—genetically modified to feel sub-etheric fluctuations in dark matter.

Research requirements

antedating 1938

Earliest cite

Jack Williamson

Research History
Jeff Prucher submitted a 2003 cite from Theodore Sturgeon's 1957 "The Pod in the Barrier".
Fred Galvin submitted a 1946 cite from Ross Rocklynne's "Distress Signal".
Fred Galvin submitted a 1955 cite from Isaac Asimov's "The Talking Stone".
Fred Galvin submitted a cite from a 1954 reprint of Robert Donald Locke's "Dark Nuptial"; Mike Christie verified the cite in the 1953 original.
Ben Ostrowsky submitted a 2015 cite from Trevor Baxendale.

Last modified 2023-11-08 18:48:21
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.