seetee n.

= contraterrene matter

Chiefly associated with, and now almost exclusively used in reference to, a series of stories by Jack Williamson.

[pronunciation spelling of CT, abbreviated form of contraterrene]

  • 1942 ‘W. Stewart’ Collision Orbit in Astounding Science Fiction July 81/2 page image Jack Williamson bibliography

    For ‘seetee’, to the engineer’s mind of old Jim Drake, meant power. Terror to others, to him it was atomic energy, priceless and illimitable. The whole meteor belt was rich in contraterrene drift. ibid. Molecules of any gas reacted with seetee, in deadly flame.

  • 1943 A. E. van Vogt Storm in Astounding Science-Fiction Oct. 9/1 A. E. van Vogt

    The stripped seetee nuclei carried now terrific and unbalanced negative charges and repelled electrons, but tended to attract terrene atom nuclei. In their turn the stripped terrene nuclei attracted contraterrene.

  • 1954 G. O. Smith Spacemen Lost in Startling Stories Fall 38/1

    ‘They may be contraterrene.’ ‘Seetee?’

  • 1955 G. Gunther Letter in Startling Stories Spring 8/1 page image

    Both parties, the terrene as well as the contra[-]terrene, entertain exactly the same viewpoint of the Universe. But this sameness cannot be communicated across the gulf that separates our form of physical reality from the one of the seetee world.

  • 1957 K. Johns Contra-Terrene Matter in New Worlds Science Fiction Feb. 81 page image

    Contra-terrene matter, material formed from atoms with reversed electrical charges, sometimes known as C-T or seetee, may be the clue to an inexhaustible supply of energy.


Research requirements

antedating 1942

Earliest cite

Jack Williamson (writing as "Will Stewart"), "Collision Orbit", in Astounding

Research History
Fred Galvin submitted a 1951 cite from P. Schuyler Miller in Astounding.
Fred Galvin submitted a 1954 cite from George O. Smith's "Spacemen Lost".
Fred Galvin submitted a cite from a 1971 reprint of Jack Williamson's 1950 novel "Seetee Shock"; Mike Christie located a different cite in the 1949 first magazine appearance.
Jesse Sheidlower submitted a 1942 cite from Jack Williamson's "Collision Orbit" (written under the pseudonym "Will Stewart", which uses the term and discusses the concept extensively.

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