Full record for ray n.

Definition supposed beam of (destructive) energy
OED requirements antedating 1898
Earliest cite H. G. Wells 'War of the Worlds'
Last modified 6 July, 2008

Citations for ray n.

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1930 J. Taine Iron Star (1976) xviii. 323 The main pocket of asterium is probably five or six hundred miles deep. It will take a long time for the disintegrating rays to pierce such a thickness as that.
1930 J. Taine Iron Star (1976) ii. 24 Further, he ventured to prophesy in the same humorous vein, it will be easy, by spraying a patient's ductless glands with the appropriate type of ‘rays’ to make two hairs sprout where none grew before.
1930 J. Taine Iron Star (1976) ii. 23 More than one layman in the audience left the hall with the fixed and ineradicable belief that it is possible, by the proper use of the right chemicals or radioactive emanations—‘rays’, in the vague language of the street—so to modify the ductless glands of the human body that physical appearance, sex, character and brain power can be profoundly modified if not wholly transformed.
1930 J. Taine Iron Star (1976) iv. 59 Somehow he has got it into his head that ‘rays’—X-rays, alpha rays, or some mystical kind not yet discovered—can change the rate of growth of the human body.
1931 Amazing Stories Sept. 544/2 He first called Mars, the home planet of Alcantro and Fedanzo, the foremost force-field experts of three planets; and was assured in no uncertain terms that those rulers of rays were ready and anxious to follow wherever Brandon and Westfall might lead.
1950 F. Brown in Galaxy Sci. Fiction Nov. 14/2 Suppose some extra-terrestrials have landed somewhere on Earth and have set up a station that broadcasts a ray that is causing the phenomenon.
1969 M. Z. Bradley Brass Dragon (1980) iii. 53 Hey, maybe you spent all that time on a flying saucer‥and then they used one of their super-hyper rays on you to make you forget.
1993 Sci. Fiction Stud. Nov. 363 The scientist in The Branded Four (1920) who creates for villains an energy ‘ray’ that is capable of destroying the human race.