Full record for disruptor n.

Definition A weapon that causes disruption to some structure or function of its target, such as an object's interatomic bonds, or a person's neural function.
OED requirements antedating 1931
Earliest cite Schachner & Zagat 'The Emperor of the Stars'
Comment Matthew Hoyt submitted a cite from a 1986 reprint of William Gibson's "Johnny Mnemonic"; Malcolm Farmer verified the first appearance in Omni in 1981. Rick Hauptmann submitted a 1939 cite from Jack Williamson's "After World's End". Cyril Alberga submitted a cite from a 1975 reprint of Edmond Hamilton's 1947 "The Star Kings", but the meaning is a superweapon, rather than a handheld weapon like a blaster. Jeff Prucher submitted a 1997 cite from Lucius Shepard's "Vermillion". Katrina Campbell submitted a cite for the form "disrupter" from a 1985 reprint of Philip E. High's 1973 "Come, Hunt an Earthman". Douglas Winston submitted a 1996 cite from Bill Baldwin's "The Defiance". Douglas Winston submitted a cite from a reprint of Andre Norton's 1953 "The Last Planet"; Mike Christie verified the cite in a 1955 reprint. Malcolm Farmer submitted a cite from a 1991 reprint of Lois McMaster Bujold's 1986 Shards of Honor". Douglas Winston submitted a 1989 cite from Jack McDevitt's "A Talent for War". Douglas Winston submitted a 1988 cite from L.E. Modesitt, Jr.'s "In Endless Twilight". Jeff Prucher submitted a 1931 cite from Nathan Schachner and Arthur Leo Zagat's "The Emperor of the Stars".
Last modified 6 July, 2008

Citations for disruptor n.

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1931 N. Schachner & A. L. Zagat in Wonder Stories Apr. 1216/2 The disruptor rays had absolutely no effect upon these creatures. Matter was differently constituted here—earth forces were unable to break up these atoms. All was lost!
1931 N. Schachner & A. L. Zagat in Wonder Stories Apr. 1216/2 In great waves the green terrors advanced. Desperately the men searched about for some opening, some gap through which to seek escape. There was none. Enringed, they stood at bay, defenseless, now that the disruptor tubes, potent weapons of destruction on earth, were useless.
1939 J. Williamson in Marvel Sci. Stories Feb. 43/2 Then abrupt uproar! Shrieks and loud commands. The snarl of cathode guns, and the thin cold hiss of disruptors. The crash of a shattering explosion.
1949 E. Hamilton Star Kings (1975) 147 Do you dream he can conquer the Empire when we have the Disruptor to use in case of necessity?
1953 ‘A. Norton’ Last Planet (1955) 51 They set off at dusk, rations and bedrolls strapped under the single seat remaining in the stripped-down sled. And with the bedrolls was the single disruptor they had left.
1973 P. E. High Come, Hunt an Earthman (1985) 98 This one was a disrupter [sic] beam and invisible.
1985 M. W. Bonanno Dwellers in Crucible i. 23 His two lieutenants drew their disruptors as he casually produced a hypospray from a pocket of his uniform tunic.
1985 M. W. Bonanno Dwellers in Crucible xii.242 She could defend herself against an unarmed Klingon, but not is he drew his disruptor.
1985 M. W. Bonanno Dwellers in Crucible iii.49 You and I can take the three, seize a disruptor.
1986 L. M. Bujold Shards of Honor (1991) 8 She heard the crackle of a nerve disruptor as she pitched backward into the ravine, stunner and comm link flying from her hands.
1986 L. M. Bujold Shards of Honor (1991) 9 The officer's belt hung heavy with equipment, but the disruptor holster on his right hip was empty, as was the plasma arc holster on his left.
1986 D. Carey Battlestations! iii.38 It's got pinpoint disruptors for demotion, it's got a presser beam.
1988 L. E. Modesitt, Jr. In Endless Twilight 159 Gerswin shifted the heavy-duty disruptor to distribute the weight differently and continued trudging toward the center of the rebel camp‥. ‘You there.’ Gerswin ignored the voice. ‘You with the 'ruptor!’
1989 J. McDevitt Talent for War 258 ‘Damn, look at this, Alex. It's an armory.’ Lasers, disruptors, beam generators, needlepoints. Nukes.
1993 D. Carey Great Starship Race Prologue 8 Hands on disruptors.
1994 L. A. Graf Traitor Winds i. 18 You were with the landing party that managed to capture the first Klingon disruptors, weren't you?
1995 P. David Captain's Daughter ii. vii. 72 A disruptor blast sliced just above his head.
1996 D. Carey Invasion! ii. 28 Forward vessels, disruptors on full double-front!
1996 B. Baldwin Defiance 50 ‘Rob,’ I said, ‘you are cleared to fire at will.’ From his console behind me, Talbert controlled a single disruptor in the belly turret and two in the ventral turret. Between the two of us, we still could use only half the Starfury's normal complement of twelve 406-mmi disruptors; it would have to do.
1997 L. Shepard in Vermillion Mar. 10 Apart from a ringing in my ears, there were only the whining of disruptor fire.
1998 G. Cox Assignment: Eternity Prologue 3 She slipped her hand beneath her grey civilian robes and drew out a compact, palm-sized disruptor.
1998 W. Shatner et al. Spectre Prologue 2 Everyone else would be distracted by the flat red blister of a disruptor scar etched across the olive skin of her forehead.
1999 M. J. Friedman My Brother's Keeper i. v. 61 Phasers, disruptors, photon torpedoes‥none of those technologies had been invented yet.