pressor beam n.

a device that emits a beam that repels its target; (also) the beam itself; cf. tractor beam n.

SF Encyclopedia

  • 1931 E. E. Smith Spacehounds of IPC in Amazing Stories Sept. 544/2 page image Edward E. Smith bibliography

    We'll have them in three days, and it ought to be fairly simple to dope out the opposite of a tractor, too—a pusher or presser [sic] beam.

  • 1944 ‘W. Long’ Circle of Confusion in Astounding Science Fiction Mar. 49/1 George O. Smith bibliography

    The careful positioning of the stations that held the warp of the collapsed fore element was lost as the tractor-pressor beam system took the unleashed overload current.

  • 1945 ‘M. Leinster’ in Astounding Science Fiction June 122/1 Murray Leinster

    By the way they're braced, there are tractor beams and pressor beams and—there are vacuum tubes that have grids but apparently work with cold cathodes.

  • 1956 P. Anderson Margin of Profit in Astounding Science Fiction Sept. 58/1 Poul Anderson bibliography

    A pressor beam lashed out, an invisible hammerblow of repulsion, five times the strength of the enemy tractor.

  • 1958 J. White in New Worlds Science Fiction Nov. 30 James White

    My men say the pressor beam mounts were not designed to stand this sort of thing. Insufficiently braced. The hull plating has sprung in eight places.

  • 1960 J. White in New Worlds Science Fiction Jan. 5 James White

    Sections which should have fitted together very often had to be modified to make them join properly, and this necessitated moving the sections together and apart several times with massed tractor and pressor beams.

  • 1972 C. Kapp Patterns of Chaos in Worlds of If Feb. 34/1 page image Colin Kapp bibliography

    The rising crescendo of the pressor beam projectors began to vibrate the whole fabric of the ship.

  • 1997 T. J. King Paladin in Absolute Magnitude Fall–Winter 48/2 page image T. Jackson King bibliography

    A pressor beam speared out from the top of Matt’s helmet, pushing the alien against the back wall.

  • 1999 D. Weber Hard Way Home (2000) 313 David Weber

    Lift towers locked down and threw up barrier panels of their own, and immensely powerful presser beams snarled to life. No one could have built an effective wall of pressers all around the resort, but the designers had stationed the generators at strategic points.

  • 2009 L. M. Schoen Buffalito Destiny ix. 89 page image Lawrence M. Schoen bibliography

    Sensors detected our hurtling bodies and a pressor field kicked in and caught us like a puffy pillow the size of an elephant. We landed gently and rolled to a halt. The pressor beams disengaged and we settled lightly on the floor.

Research requirements

antedating 1931

Research History
Mike Christie submitted a 1941 cite from Robert Heinlein.
Enoch Forrester submitted a cite from a 1965 reprint of E.E. Smith's "Triplanetary"; Derek Hepburn confirmed the cite in the original 1934 magazine appearance.
Enoch Forrester submitted a 1944 cite from George O. Smith's "Circle of Confusion" for the form "tractor-pressor beam".
Jeff Prucher submitted a 1956 cite from Poul Anderson's "Margin of Profit".
Cory Panshin submitted a cite from a reprint of Murray Leinster's "The Ethical Equations"; Mike Christie verified the cite in the 1945 magazine appearance.
Rick Hauptmann submitted a 1931 cite from E.E. Smith's "Spacehounds of IPC".
Malcolm Farmer submitted a 1960 cite from James White's "O'Mara's Orphan". Malcolm Farmer submitted a 1958 cite from James White's "Trouble With Emily".
Malcolm Farmer submitted a cite for the form "presser beam" from a 2000 reprint of David Weber's 1999 "The Hard Way Home".
Ben Ostrowsky submitted a 2009 cite from Lawrence M. Schoen.

Last modified 2021-11-24 19:49:09
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.