Full record for empathic adj.

Definition having the ability of empathy (in the SF sense)
OED requirements antedating 1959
Comment Malcolm Farmer submitted a cite from a 1999 reprint of David Weber's "On Basilisk Station", and Michael Dolbear verified the cite in a 1994 printing. Mike Christie submitted a cite from a 1990 reprint of Dan Simmons' "Hyperion". Christopher Davis submitted a cite from a reprint of James White's "Visitor At Large"; Mike Christie verified the cite in the 1959 first magazine appearance. Douglas Winston submitted a cite from an undated reprint of John DeChancie's 1983 "Starrigger". Douglas Winston submitted a 1976 cite from Colin Kapp's "The Survival Game". Douglas Winston submitted a cite from a 1970 reprint of Anne McCaffrey's 1969 "The Partnered Ship".

The OED has cites back to 1909 for the non-sf meaning.

Last modified 30 July, 2019

Citations for empathic adj.

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1959 J. White in New Worlds Sci. Fiction June 8 His new assistant was not a telepath–it could not read thoughts–but it was sensitive to feelings and emotions and would therefore have been aware of Conway's curiosity. Conway felt like kicking himself for forgetting that empathic faculty.
1967 P. K. Dick Faith of our Fathers in We can remember It for you Wholesale (1994) 273 He heard his voice, toneless, sounding the poverty of empathic emotionality so usual in Party circles.
1972 J. Blish Star Trek 8 117 The Argelian empathic contact, sir?
1976 C. Kapp Survival Game vii. 43 He was acutely conscious that the task of snatching control away from the ghost was nearly beyond his technical capabilities. The ransad ghost, unlike radio control, was an organic, empathic coupling, not designed to be rejected from the receiving end.
1983 J. DeChancie Starrigger (1991) 252 At first, she barely acknowledged her onetime friend and interpreter. Perhaps she read the guilt in Darla's face, invisible to me, but by now Winnie's empathic powers were a given. I only wondered as to their extent. Whatever that was, I knew that Winnie's second sight was keen enough to see Darla's grief, and perhaps her regret at using Winnie as a pawn, because before long Winnie was hugging Darla too, her capacity for forgiveness and compassion probably greater than anything.
1992 P. David Imzadi v. 33 Betazoids walked a fine line between a desire for privacy and acceptance of its impossibility–for amidst an empathic society, privacy was at best a pretense and it was rude to pretend otherwise.
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.
1995 Extrapolation Spring 9 This woman just happens to be a ‘female empathic mesomorph’.
1997 W. Shatner Avenger xxi. 169 Troi had been focusing her empathic ability on Chiton Kincaid, Stron, and his wife.
1998 W. Shatner et al. Spectre xxviii. 335 He wanted there to be some way it would be caught up by Deanna's empathic ability and taken from him forever.