a beam of (destructive) energy, emitted by a ray gun or similar device
Only the fact that a hummock of heathery sand intercepted the lower part of the Heat Ray saved them.
War of Worlds vi, in Pearson’s Magazine May 492/1
1907 N.Y. Times Magazine 25 Aug. 7/2
They use a superior electro—or radio—gun, which plumps a ray or a shock through space and demolishes whatever it hits.
From each of the conical machines a glare of light shot forth. The Russians wilted and crumpled up. They did not fall; they were rather consumed like lead dropped into fire, and the next line wilted too as the Ray caught them.
Messiah of the Cylinder x. 110
More than one layman in the audience left the hall with the fixed and ineradicable belief that it is possible, by the proper use of the right chemicals or radioactive emanations—‘rays’, in the vague language of the street—so to modify the ductless glands of the human body that physical appearance, sex, character and brain power can be profoundly modified if not wholly transformed.
Iron Star (1976) ii. 23
Further, he ventured to prophesy in the same humorous vein, it will be easy, by spraying a patient’s ductless glands with the appropriate type of ‘rays’ to make two hairs sprout where none grew before.
Iron Star (1976) ii. 24
Somehow he has got it into his head that ‘rays’—X-rays, alpha rays, or some mystical kind not yet discovered—can change the rate of growth of the human body.
Iron Star (1976) iv. 59
He first called Mars, the home planet of Alcantro and Fedanzo, the foremost force-field experts of three planets; and was assured in no uncertain terms that those rulers of rays were ready and anxious to follow wherever Brandon and Westfall might lead.
Spacehounds of IPC in Amazing Stories Sept. 544/2
Suppose some extra-terrestrials have landed somewhere on Earth and have set up a station that broadcasts a ray that is causing the phenomenon.
Honeymoon in Hell in Galaxy Science Fiction Nov. 14/2
Hey, maybe you spent all that time on a flying saucer…and then they used one of their super-hyper rays on you to make you forget.
Brass Dragon (1980) iii. 53
1993 Science Fiction Studies Nov. 363
The scientist in The Branded Four (1920) who creates for villains an energy ‘ray’ that is capable of destroying the human race.
Another weapon, the Gamma gun, generates rays that cause radiation sickness and death within a day. We’ve never used that one either.
Dove Arising xi. 85
H. G. Wells 'War of the Worlds'
Research HistoryBen Ostrowsky submitted a 2015 cite from Karen Bao.
Last modified 2021-02-25 12:58:46
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.