beam v.

to travel through space as if along a beam of light or energy; to transport (someone or something) in this manner

Chiefly associated with the US TV series Star Trek.

Star Trek

  • 1951 S. A. Peeples et al. Dictionary Science Fiction in Travelers of Space 24

    Matter transmitter—In SF, an apparatus which dissembles an object, transmits it through space and re-assembles it at another point. The transported matter is usually broken into its component atoms, ‘beamed’ and reconstructed by a specially keyed receiver. Travel is thus instantaneous.

  • 1964 G. Roddenberry Cage 29 June in S. E. Whitfield & G. Roddenberry Making of ‘Star Trek’ (1968) i. iv. 48 Gene Roddenberry bibliography

    The landing party is beamed to materialize on arid, rocky Sirius IV.

  • 1964 G. Roddenberry Cage 29 June in S. E. Whitfield & G. Roddenberry Making of ‘Star Trek’ (1968) i. iv. 48 Gene Roddenberry bibliography

    Robert April selects a recon party…and they step into the transporter chamber. We get our first look at this procedure, too, as it beams them to materialize on the planet surface far below.

  • 1968 R. Hamner & G. L. Coon Taste of Armageddon in J. Blish Star Trek 213 Robert Hamner Gene L. Coon

    Kirk beamed down to the planet with Mr. Spock.

  • 1968 S. E. Whitfield in S. E. Whitfield & G. Roddenberry Making of ‘Star Trek’ ii. ii. 174 bibliography

    When in use, the communicators serve the additional purpose of a transporter-locator device. This allows the transporter to locate, lock-on, and ‘beam aboard’ any crewman within range.

  • 1968 S. E. Whitfield in S. E. Whitfield & G. Roddenberry Making of ‘Star Trek’ ii. vi. 240 bibliography

    McCoy has an inbred distrust of machines, as evidenced by his loathing for the transporter system used for ‘beaming’ personnel from the ship to planet surfaces.

  • 1981 V. N. McIntyre Entropy Effect v. 130 Vonda N. McIntyre

    Well…one could beam from one place, to the transporter room, then to another place.

  • 1985 B. Hambly Ishmael i. 19 Barbara Hambly

    Spock’s first transmission had come as the last of the Enterprise crew members were beaming aboard.

  • 1985 M. W. Bonanno Dwellers in Crucible viii.181 Margaret Wander Bonanno

    He signalled the flagship to beam him aboard.

  • 1992 N. Stephenson Snow Crash v. 34 Neal Stephenson

    You can’t just materialize anywhere in the Metaverse, like Captain Kirk beaming down from on high.

  • 1995 D. W. Smith & K. K. Rusch Star Trek Voyager: Escape xxiv. 238 Dean Wesley Smith Kristine Kathryn Rusch bibliography

    Janeway had herself, Paris, and Drickel beamed directly to sickbay.

  • 1995 D. W. Smith & K. K. Rusch Star Trek Voyager: Escape viii. 83 Dean Wesley Smith Kristine Kathryn Rusch bibliography

    ‘None,’ Chakotay said. ‘Not even trace signatures. They haven’t beamed anywhere and there are no other anomalies out there.’


Research requirements

antedating 1951

Earliest cite

Samuel A. Peeples, David A. Kyle, and Martin Greenberg, 'A Dictionary of Science Fiction'

Research History
Fred Galvin submitted a 1951 cite from Samuel A. Peeples, David A. Kyle, and Martin Greenberg's "A Dictionary of Science Fiction".

Earliest cite in the OED is 1966.

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