thought wave n.

a thought emanating from one's mind, esp. a telepathic emanation; a thought or thoughts travelling on a hypothetical medium of thought transfer


  • 1849 S. J. Clarke in R. W. Griswold Female Poets of America 395/1

    Then kissed our thought-waves, mingling on the way.

  • 1870 A. W. E. O’Shaughnessey Epic of Women 205

    When some thin thought-wave/From the shadow shore/Brings the Voice once more/From beyond the grave.

  • 1877 F. Dixie Isola, or The Disinherited: A Revolt for Woman and All Disinherited V. ii. 90 page image Florence Dixie

    The true Success I ask to come to me, / Is that the Truth, whose flag I hold aloft, / And Justice and kind Love shall triumph o’er / The reign of Falsehood, Cruelty, and Hate. / For this I send forth thought waves far and wide, / May their returning tide bring back to me / My bride, Success, whom I court from afar.

  • 1903 A. Field Azrael and Amateurs: A Psychic Comedy in Idler Aug. 565/1 page image

    This is Monday afternoon? Yes, well, it was on Tuesday last that we entered the trance condition. On Thursday, by earth counting of days, I was with my cousin’s spirit at an instruction meeting on the sixth plane, absorbing the ideas of a soul of the ninth altitude, when I suddenly received a thought-wave message from the lowest Spheres that I should return to earth immediately.

  • 1926 S. M. Sargent Jr. Telepathic Pick-Up in Amazing Stories Dec. 829/2 page image Samuel M. Sargent, Jr. bibliography

    You understand the radio. Well, this machine is similar. It must be tuned into the thought-wave length of the man you wish to reach. But the machine must broadcast to receive, that is, the tuning consists of the broadcasting of a key thought.

  • 1934 E. R. Burroughs Swords of Mars in Blue Book Magazine Dec. v. 27/1 page image Edgar Rice Burroughs bibliography

    I did not even have to speak to it. The mechanical mind that I have installed in the ship responds to thought-waves. I merely have to impart to it the impulse of the thought that wish it to act upon.

  • 1940 A. E. van Vogt Slan in Astounding Science-Fiction Dec. xvi. 151/1 page image A. E. van Vogt bibliography

    He could see the fountain he wanted, a great, glittering shape with its sparkling streams of water. But there was too much artificial light, too many minds around, a confusion of vibrations that must be interfering with the one thought wave his mind was reaching for—if the damned thing was still there after all these hundreds of years. If it wasn’t there, God help him!

  • 1954 P. K. Dick Sales Pitch in Future Science Fiction June 73/1 page image Philip K. Dick bibliography

    Tired of the same old job? Wonder Circuits Inc. has perfected a marvelous long-range thoughtwave scanner. Know what others are thinking and saying. Get the edge on fellow employees. Learn facts, figures about your employer’s personal existence. Banish uncertainty!

  • 1960 F. Brown Earthmen Bearing Gifts in Galaxy June 148/1 page image Fredric Brown bibliography

    Dhar Ry sat alone in his room, meditating. From outside the door he caught a thought wave equivalent to a knock, and, glancing at the door, he willed it to slide open. It opened. ‘Enter, my friend,’ he said. He could have projected the idea telepathically; but with only two persons present, speech was more polite.

  • 1973 T. Sturgeon Helix the Cat in Astounding: John W. Campbell Memorial Anthology 277 page image Theodore Sturgeon bibliography

    ‘How can I hear you?’ ‘Direct telepathic contact. I am not speaking to you, specifically, but to your soul. [...]’ ‘Then—why doesn’t Helix get the same messages?’ ‘Because he is on a different—er—wavelength. That’s one way of putting it, though thoughtwaves are not electrical.’

  • 1987 N. Robinson Sensorites xii. 131 page image Nigel Robinson bibliography

    Up in the First Elder’s chamber Carol and the Sensorite leader watched anxiously as Susan tried to contact Barbara and John. Her face was stretched in concentration as she struggled desperately to receive Barbara’s thoughtwaves; but Barbara’s skill at using the mind transmitter was limited and Susan could catch only a few indistinct words.

  • 2008 S. King Duma Key XIII. ix. 402 page image Stephen King bibliography

    As for you, your talent’s empathy. And on Duma Key, empathy got raised to telepathy. [...] Would you trade one for the other in any case? Your eyesight for the occasional thoughtwave?

Research requirements

antedating 1849

Earliest cite

Sara Jane Lippincott (née Clarke)

Research History
Suggested, and most cites submitted, by Bee Ostrowsky.

Last modified 2022-10-06 15:17:12
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.