cy·​ber·​punk | \ ˈsī-bər-ˌpəŋk How to pronounce cyberpunk (audio) \

Definition of cyberpunk

1 : science fiction dealing with future urban societies dominated by computer technology
2 : an opportunistic computer hacker

Synonyms for cyberpunk


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Cyberpunk and Literature

In science fiction circles, "cyberpunk" is a genre that often features countercultural antiheroes trapped in a dehumanizing high-tech future. Its roots extend back to the technical fiction of the 1940s and '50s, but it was years before it matured. The word cyberpunk was coined by writer Bruce Bethke, who wrote a story with that title in 1980. He created the term by combining "cybernetics," the science of replacing human functions with computerized ones, and "punk," the raucous music and nihilistic sensibility that became a youth culture in the 1970s and '80s. Not until the 1984 publication of William Gibson's novel, Neuromancer, however, did "cyberpunk" really take off as a term or a genre.

Examples of cyberpunk in a Sentence

the bank had to overhaul its online banking system after a cyberpunk broke into the accounts of thousands of customers
Recent Examples on the Web Henwick disappears into her characters, so much so that many will be surprised to discover that the sapphire-haired cyberpunk from The Matrix and Game of Thrones’ whip-wielding Nymeria Sand are the same person. Janelle Okwodu, Vogue, 21 Jan. 2022 In this classic work of modern cyberpunk, a hacker faces down a powerful artificial intelligence orbiting Earth. Washington Post, 5 Oct. 2021 Battle Systems creates detailed terrain for several genres of gaming, including fantasy and cyberpunk. Rob Wieland, Forbes, 20 May 2021 The game is already out on Steam, and will be available on PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch and Xbox One from May 1. Explore Gagne's backlog of fiction games and stories here, including a cyberpunk web novel and plenty of genre mashup adventures. Trilby Beresford, The Hollywood Reporter, 1 May 2020 As such, a game that could play like a cyberpunk thriller often feels like a slice-of-life story, a trip through the most complex and detailed world Square Enix could muster. Julie Muncy, Wired, 10 Apr. 2020 Dame Helen Mirren was in attendance, channeling Kojima’s cyberpunk-meets-postpunk aesthetic in a long black blazer with a Radiohead patch on the breast. Adrian Chen, New York Times, 3 Mar. 2020 The bracelet is like an anti-smartwatch, both in its cyberpunk aesthetic and in its purpose of defeating technology. New York Times, 14 Feb. 2020 Musk also revived hints that the vehicle would be inspired, in some capacity, by the film Blade Runner, and exchanges with his followers on Twitter, who joked about needing to wear cyberpunk costumes to the reveal, were met approvingly by the CEO. Eric Adams, Popular Mechanics, 13 Nov. 2019 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cyberpunk.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of cyberpunk

1983, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of cyberpunk was in 1983

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Cite this Entry

“Cyberpunk.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Aug. 2022.

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