a destructive beam of energy; a device that generates such a beam
In 1896 quotation, referring literally to the rays of the sun.
Old Sol’s death rays.]
Those who were out of reach of the terrible death-rays saw six long guns rise from the masked batteries.
Chapter IX: The Death Ray
The old style warfare, while much slower than the modern way of spreading destruction from the air by means of the death ray, was far less merciful.
‘Then you have indeed devised one of those “death-ray” machines which we read of in pseudo-scientific fiction!’ ‘No, Dexter, it is by no means a death-ray. And I dislike to call it a ray. The wave which it emits is so far departed from the light-spectrum that such nomenclature would be incorrect.’
He fired again and again. Soon the Death Ray apparatus was a melted pile of steaming junk.
There was a spurt of smoke and down he went. ‘Death ray’, or Laser beam, or whatever—line it up, press the stud, and anyone on the far end quit the party with a hole burned in him.
The best-known and most often demonstrated space-weapon systems are beam weapons—the ‘death rays’ of H.G. Wells.
Riding an antimatter rocket is like riding a giant death ray bomb: you want to put as much distance as possible between yourself and the engine.
I must turn that aggression against him, like a superhero reflecting an opponent’s powerful death-ray right back into the villain’s own eyes.
George Griffith, The World Masters
Previous earliest cite in the OED Database: 1919
Last modified 2021-03-29 23:53:38
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.