metaverse n.

a computer-generated environment within which users can interact with one another and their surroundings, a virtual world; (more generally) the notional environment in which users of networked computers interact; = cyberspace n.


  • 1992 N. Stephenson Snow Crash iii. 22 Neal Stephenson bibliography

    Hiro’s not actually here at all. He’s in a computer-generated universe that his computer is drawing onto his goggles and pumping into his earphones. In the lingo, this imaginary place is known as the Metaverse. Hiro spends a lot of time in the Metaverse.

  • 1992 N. Stephenson Snow Crash iii. 24 Neal Stephenson bibliography

    Hiro has a nice big house in the Metaverse but has to share a 20-by-30 in Reality. Real estate acumen does not always extend across universes.

  • 1998 E. Davis TechGnosis (1999) Introd. 5

    I hope my secret history can provide some imaginal maps and mystical scorecards for the metaverse that is now swallowing up so many of us, all across network earth.

  • 2005 Wired Oct. 59/7 (chart)

    Do real laws apply in the metaverse? Legal eagles and game geeks in Tribeca debate the future of virtual worlds.

  • 2008 Interzone (#214) Feb. 28/2 page image

    His day job is in metaverse development.

  • 2013 in C. Golden 21st Century Dead 390

    Stephen Susco has accumulated tremendous success and is renown [sic] in a profoundly dynamic career spectrum, including stints in such unique and daring fields as dynamic cryptopaleontology, dark-matter-waste recycling, and extraheliosphere metor hijacking. In this particular slice of the metaverse, however, he’s acheived a more modest reputation, having concocted slightly more than a few movie recipes.

  • 2015 K. Zimmerman Can Virtual Reality Bring Real Tourists to B.C.? in Globe & Mail (Toronto) (Travel section) t4/3

    Other travel industry players are also entering the virtual space, which has been dubbed the Metaverse. Marriott Hotels uses VR to transport potential guests to a Hawaiian beach, the Andes Mountains, a Rwandan ice cream shop and the streets of Beijing.

  • 2020 M. Snider New Video Games to Set Sales Records in USA Today 6 Nov. (Money+Life section) 2b/4

    As video games continue to expand their audience and add additional features, it is emerging as potentially the next generation of the internet; a metaverse filled with millions of users interacting in a truly life-like virtual reality.

Research requirements

antedating 1992

Earliest cite

Neil Stephenson, Snow Crash

Research History
Neil Stephenson coined this and "avatar n." for "Snow Crash": a note there comments that he had been surprised to discover that "avatar" had been independently coined before this: so we would be interested to see any earlier uses of metaverse with this meaning.

Added to the OED in December 2008.

Last modified 2021-10-29 14:23:39
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.