Full record for Blowup n.

Definition an atomic war; usually with 'the'
OED requirements any evidence 1945
Earliest cite Lewis Padgett, 'Beggars In Velvet'
Comment Mike Christie submitted a 1946 cite from Lewis Padgett's "Time Enough".
Mike Christie submitted a 1945 cite from Lewis Padgett's "Beggars In Velvet".

We would like cites of any date from other sources.

Last modified 15 July, 2009

Citations for Blowup n.

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1945 ‘L. Padgett’ Beggars In Velvet in Astounding Sci.-Fiction Dec. 14/2 After the Blowup, the fringes of the radioactive areas had caused the mutations of which the telepaths were the only survivors, aside from the occasional monsters—reptiles and harmless beasts—that still lived near the blasted areas.
1946 Astounding Sci. Fiction Dec. 127/2 Five hundred years before, an atom was split and the balance of power blew up. Prior to that time, a number of people had been playing tug of war with a number of ropes. Nuclear fission, in effect, handed those people knives. They learned how to cut the ropes, and, too late, discovered that the little game had been played on the summit of a crag whose precipitous sides dropped away to abysmal depths beneath. The knife was a key as well. It opened fantastic new doors. Thus the Blowup. Had the Blowup been due only to the atomic blast, man might have rebuilt more easily, granting that the planet remained habitable. However, one of the doors the key opened led into a curious, perilous place where physical laws were unstable. Truth is a variable. But no one knew how to vary it until after unlimited atomic power had been thrown onto the market. Within limits, anything could happen, and plenty of things did. Call it a war. Call it chaos. Call it the Blowup.
1946 Astounding Sci. Fiction Dec. 127/2 Five hundred years before, an atom was split and the balance of power blew up. Prior to that time, a number of people had been playing tug of war with a number of ropes. Nuclear fission, in effect, handed those people knives. They learned how to cut the ropes, and, too late, discovered that the little game had been played on the summit of a crag whose precipitous sides dropped away to abysmal depths beneath. The knife was a key as well. It opened fantastic new doors. Thus the Blowup. Had the Blowup been due only to the atomic blast, man might have rebuilt more easily, granting that the planet remained habitable. However, one of the doors the key opened led into a curious, perilous place where physical laws were unstable. Truth is a variable. But no one knew how to vary it until after unlimited atomic power had been thrown onto the market. Within limits, anything could happen, and plenty of things did. Call it a war. Call it chaos. Call it the Blowup.