Full record for empath n.

Definition one with the empathic ability to sense others' emotions.
OED requirements antedating 1956
Earliest cite J.T. McIntosh, Empath
Comment Enoch Forrester submitted a cite from a reprint of Harlan Ellison's "Try A Dull Knife"; Mike Christie verified it in the 1968 original magazine appearance. Robert Carnegie located a cite in James White's "Visitor At Large", and Mike Christie verified it in the original 1959 magazine appearance. Jeff Prucher submitted a cite from a 1995 reprint of Octavia Butler's 1993 novel "The Parable of the Sower". Katrina Campbell submitted a cite from a reprint of Anne McCaffrey's "A Bridle for Pegasus"; Mike Christie verified the cite in the 1973 first appearance. Enoch Forrester submitted a cite from a 1993 reprint of Peter David's "Imzadi". Malcolm Farmer submitted a cite from a 1999 reprint of David Weber's 1993 "On Basilisk Station". Fred Galvin submitted a 1957 cite from Robert Silverberg's "Warm Man". Fred Galvin suggested J.T. Mcintosh's story "Empath"; Mike Christie confirmed this in its 1956 original publication.
Last modified 6 July, 2008

Citations for empath n.

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1956 ‘J. T. McIntosh’ Empath in New Worlds Aug. 30 ‘How exactly does the government use empaths?’ Tim shrugged. ‘We can tell the level of a man's loyalty just by meeting him. We can walk around a factory and sense that there's going to be a strike.’
1957 R. Silverberg Warm Man in Mag. Fantasy & Sci. Fiction May 55/2 Irony: the compulsive empath overloaded and burned out by a compulsive sender who'd been bottled up.
1959 J. White in New Worlds Sci. Fiction June 8 Prilicla, he realized uncomfortably, was an empath. The being had not said very much since they had met a short time ago, but everything that it had said had backed up Conway's feelings in the particular matter under discussion. His new assistant was not a telepath—it could not read thoughts—but it was sensitive to feelings and would therefore have been aware of Conway's curiosity.
1968 H. Ellison in Fantasy & Sci. Fiction Oct. 71/1 That was Eddie Burma's problem. He was an empath. He felt. Deep inside himself, on a level most people never even know exists, he felt for the world.
1971 U. K. LeGuin Vaster Than Empires & More Slow in E. S. Rabkin Sci. Fiction: Historical Anthol. (1983) 519 The empath stood motionless for a long time.
1973 A. McCaffrey in Analog Sci. Fiction/Fact July 24/2 We are both agreed that she is a broadcasting empath?
1974 J. Blish Star Trek 10 33 She must be an empath!
1991 M. Weiss King's Test iv. ii. 315 Empaths are often paired with the Loti.
1991 M. Weiss King's Test iv.iii.323 The empath nearly shriveled up into a ball.
1992 P. David Imzadi (1993) 121 Deanna's no mind reader. She's an empath. She senses moods, emotions, feelings.
1993 D. Weber On Basilisk Station (1999) 8 'Cats rated a point-eight-three on the sentience scale, slightly above Beowulf's gremlins or Old Earth's dolphins, and they were empaths. Even now, no one had any idea how the empathic links worked, but separating one from its chosen companion caused it intense pain, and it had been established early on that those favored by a 'cat were measurably more stable than those without.
1994 Sci Fi Entertainment Aug. 20/3 With Richard Joseph Paul as a heroic ‘empath’ embroiled in a battle with an evil gang.
1994 B. Hambly Crossroad vi.81 Trained as empaths‥trained to the psion drive.
1995 Interzone Mar. 55/1 The novella “Need” (1960) is one of the best of his psi -stories, but it is also one of the most harrowing; here the possession of a superhuman sensitivity becomes an alienating force in its own right, and the self-knowledge which the protagonist gains by virtue of his association with the empath is coldly unflattering.
1999 C. Pellegrino & G. Zebrowski Star Trek Next Generation: Dyson Sphere ix. 144 I've had some doubts about his judgment, having heard that he plays poker with an empath and a card-counting android.
2008 Wall St. Jrnl. 11 July w10/4 Hellboy is accompanied once again by Doug Jones's aquatic empath, Abe, and Selma Blair's melancholy, pyrokinetic Liz.