Full record for mad scientist n.

Definition a scientist who is insane or eccentric, esp. so as to be dangerous or evil: a stock figure of melodramatic horror stories
OED requirements antedating 1908
Earliest cite R. McDonald, 'Mad scientist: a tale of the future'
Comment Enoch Forrester submitted a cite from a 1965 reprint of E.E. Smith's "Triplanetary"; we would like to check the original 1934 magazine appearance. Cory Panshin submitted a cite from a 1947 reprint of Manly Wade Wellman's "The Disc-Men of Jupiter"; Jeff Prucher verified the cite in the September 1931 original appearance. Mike Christie submitted a cite from a 1976 reprint of Lloyd Arthur Eshbach's "The Voice From The Ether"; Jeff Prucher verified the cite in the original May 1931 magazine appearance. Kathleen Miller submitted a 1908 cite from the New York Times.

Earliest cite in the OED2: 1940. OED3 updated in March 2003 with new earliest date of 1908.

Last modified 6 July, 2008

Citations for mad scientist n.

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1931 L. A. Eschbach in M. Ashley Hist. Sci. Fiction Mag. (1976)I. 135 The resulting death of the mad scientist can well be imagined.
1931 M. W. Wellman in Wonder Stories Sept. 523/1 This was the noted ‘joy-lamp’, invented by a mad scientist to administer a new and unheard-of intoxication to all who came into its light.
1931 L. A. Eshbach in Amazing Stories May 185/2 The resulting death of the mad scientist can well be imagined.
1947 M. W. Wellman in Startling Stories May 70/2 This was the noted ‘joylamp’, invented by a mad scientist to administer a new and unheard-of intoxication to all who came into its light.
1965 E. E. Smith Triplanetary 105 I have heard of mad scientists who tried to destroy the Earth, and of equally mad geniuses who thought themselves Napoleons capable of conquering even the Solar System.
1991 Locus May 31/1 When people say ‘mad scientist’, we never wonder for a moment if perhaps they mean that the fellow is merely angry.