multiverse n. 1

a space or realm of being consisting of a number of universes, of which our own universe is only one; cf. parallel universe n.

OED has evidence from the late 19th century for the sense ‘the universe considered as lacking order or a single ruling and guiding power’.

SF Encyclopedia


  • 1963 M. Moorcock Blood Red Game in Science Fiction Adventures May 2 Michael Moorcock bibliography

    And, it must be remembered, that in the great multiverse they were a mere scattering of seeds; seeds that must survive many elements if they were to grow.

  • 1963 M. Moorcock Blood Red Game in Science Fiction Adventures May 3 Michael Moorcock bibliography

    Yet within it there were many things, many intelligences who did not realise they dwelt in a multiverse since, within itself, it was comprised of many universes, each one separated from the other by dimensions, like leaves between the layers.

  • 1975 M. Moorcock Count Brass in Fantastic Stories Aug. 86/2 page image Michael Moorcock bibliography

    There are certain devices we invented when we were learning to shift our city through the dimensions—sensors and the like which can probe the various layers of the multiverse.

  • 1983 R. B. Lee Knight of Shallows in Amazing Stories July 27 page image Rand B. Lee bibliography

    Probability mechanics is a phenomenon unfathomable to anyone wedded to the old physics. Consciousness as a basic force in the universe. Or rather, multiverse. You’re looking at logical spin-offs from the eventualities of your life.

  • 1987 I. Watson Milk of Knowledge in Aboriginal Science Fiction Sept.–Oct. 60/2 page image Ian Watson bibliography

    Our intrusion threatens you with all possible world-lines, which is where we dwell: in the multiverse, not in your single universe. You tune all other existences out, bar one. We can make the world jump tracks. We can juxtapose.

  • 1993 Locus Oct. iv. 4/1

    I had the feeling I had given birth to something that was almost beyond my own power, bigger than anything I could ever have imagined or created from scratch. Partly that’s the detail of it—you've got a very detailed multiverse.

  • 1994 Interzone Sept. 27/2

    Suddenly there was insight. He could treat it as a single object existing simultaneously at all levels in a multiverse.

  • 1996 B. Stableford Sleepwalker in Interzone (#105) Mar. 44/1 page image Brian Stableford bibliography

    I used to be a citizen of the world, but now I'm a citizen of the multiverse.

  • 1997 J. Noon Nymphomation (1998) 31 Jeff Noon bibliography

    Everyday life is an infinite branching mazeway set in the multiverse.

  • 2003 Dreamwatch Aug. 16/1

    Heath Ledger is already rumoured for Luther, the white-haired, psi-powered hero who leaps parallel universes to stop the evil Disruptors from causing chaos and destroying the fabric of the multiverse.

  • 2013 S. Gardiner Letter in SFX (#241) Dec. 37/2 page image

    Am I the only person in the multiverse to actually quite enjoy Daredevil?

  • 2017 D. Kwan & D. Scheinert Everything Everywhere All at Once (script) (12/18/2017 draft) 91

    Jackie But I saw you die. Alpha Winona I did die in your universe, but I survived in another because the multiverse— Jackie STOP! Stop it! I don’t want to know anymore.

Research requirements

antedating 1963

Earliest cite

Michael Moorcock, in Science Fiction Adventures

Research History
Separate SF meaning added to OED3 in March 2003.

Last modified 2023-03-10 12:39:13
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.