Full record for contraterrene adj.

Definition opposite to terrestrial in character; used sometimes as a term for antimatter.
OED requirements antedating 1941
Earliest cite R. S. Richardson in 'Astounding'
Comment Roger Robinson has submitted a July 1942 Jack Williamson cite from Astounding. Brian Ameringen has submitted a cite from a 1965 reprint of John Campbell's novel "Islands of Space". Alistair Durie checked the story's first magazine publication in 1930, and found the word was not used there. Mike Christie submitted a March 1942 cite from a letter to ASF by J. Wellington Wells. Mike Christie submitted a February 1942 cite from an editorial by John Campbell in Astounding. Mike Christie submitted a 1941 cite from an article by R.S. Richardson in Astounding.

Earliest cite in the OED: 1946.

Last modified 6 July, 2008

Citations for contraterrene adj.

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1941 R. S. Richardson Inside Out Matter in Astounding Sci. Fiction Dec. 112/1 Contraterrene means just that—a type of matter exactly the opposite of ordinary or terrene matter. Instead of atoms composed of a positive nucleus surrounded by electrons, it consists of a negative nucleus surrounded by positrons.
1942 ‘J. W. Wells’ Let. in Astounding Sci. Fiction Mar. 112/1 But there are notable exceptions: e.g. stories prophesying a surprise attack on the United States by the yellow Aryans of Nippon, and J. D. Clark's forecast of contraterrene matter in a short story called ‘Minus Planet’ published a few years ago.
1942 J. W. Campbell Supernova Centaurus in Astounding Sci. Fiction Feb. 6/1 One of the most common of the more spectacular things, of course—but not to be rated with a direct collision of stars—itself probably divided into two orders of spectacle; first order being a collision between a star made up of terrene matter and a contraterrene-matter star, and a second-order spectacle involving simply two stars of the same matter type.
1942 ‘W. Stewart’ in Astounding Sci. Fiction July 81/2 The whole meteor belt was rich in contraterrene drift; matter inside out, with electrons and positrons in reverse positions.
1943 Astounding Sci.-Fiction Oct. 9/2 The stripped seetee nuclei carried now terrific and unbalanced negative charges and repelled electrons, but tended to attract terrene atom nuclei. In their turn the stripped terrene nuclei attracted contraterrene.
1946 ‘J. J. Coupling’ in Astounding Sci. Fiction May 105 We've known about atoms with protons and electrons for a long time; there have been suggestions of atoms with inverted structure—contraterrene atoms. But now it appears there are imitation atoms as well! But the phonies are soon unmasked—the masquerade lasts a few billionths of a second only!
1946 ‘J. J. Coupling’ in Astounding Sci. Fiction May 108/2 This will be perfectly comprehensible to those who have read the C T—contraterrene matter—stories in Astounding.
1946 F. Brown Placet Is Crazy Place in Astounding Sci. Fiction May 119/2 It boils down to this; Argyle I is terrene matter and Argyle II is contraterrene, or negative matter.
1951 P. S. Miller Reference Library in Astounding Stories Nov. 117/1 In the July 1942 issue of Astounding SCIENCE FICTION Jack Williamson, using the pen name &oq.Will Stewart,&cq. introduced the concept of ‘seetee’—contraterrene matter—to science fiction in the novelette ‘Collision Orbit.’ Seetee, as is now pretty generally known, is matter electrically opposite to normal or terrene matter, with a nucleus of neutrons and negative protons surrounded by shells of positrons. In contact with normal matter, the opposites are attracted to each other, react, and neutralize each other with total conversion of their mass to energy.
1966 J. W. Campbell Islands of Space i. 12 As a result, about half of the lead fed into the chamber became contraterrene lead! The atoms just turned themselves inside out, so to speak, giving us an atom with positrons circling a negatively charged nucleus.