steam·​punk | \ ˈstēm-ˌpəŋk How to pronounce steampunk (audio) \

Definition of steampunk

: science fiction dealing with 19th-century societies dominated by historical or imagined steam-powered technology

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I think Victorian fantasies are going to be the next big thing, as long as we can come up with a fitting collective term for [Tim] Powers, [James] Blaylock and myself. So wrote the science-fiction author K. W. Jeter, credited with coining the term steampunk in 1987 to describe a wave of fantasy novels set in Victorian times and celebrating the technology of the era, much of which was powered by steam. In both name and subject, steampunk is an antithesis to cyberpunk, a genre often noted for featuring computerized, futuristic, or unearthly settings. The popularity of steampunk has since carried over to motion pictures, fashion, and even things like restaurant décor.

Examples of steampunk in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Taste mysterious and indescribably delicious tidbits from all the fantasy realms, from delicate fairy cakes to Victorian steampunk molecular gastronomy., "Community News For The Farmington Valley Edition," 23 June 2019 Dog-friendly outdoor seating capitalizes on the energy from neighboring bars and clubs, while inside diners find a touch of steampunk in decor accented by gears, tooled leather and vintage waterwheels. Katherine Rodeghier, Dallas News, "St. Petersburg, Fla., goes from senior rest home to hipster hangout," 18 June 2019 Taste mysterious and indescribably delicious tidbits from all the fantasy realms, from delicate fairy cakes to Victorian steampunk molecular gastronomy., "Community News For The Farmington Valley Edition," 15 June 2019 Only Canard has a bit less polish, with a few dents and divots left over from the former occupant, a steampunk boutique. Michael Russell,, "Channeling Paris, Canard opens next door to Le Pigeon tonight," 16 Apr. 2018 Gritty The new Philadelphia Flyers mascot and messy steampunk monster is a perfect choice for the proud single person out on the town. Bridget Read, Vogue, "Single This Halloween? 11 Costumes Guaranteed to Make You Stand Out From the Crowd," 12 Oct. 2018 Elsewhere at the cineplex this weekend, and unfortunately for Mortal Engines fans, the box office wasn’t especially kind to the Peter Jackson steampunk fantasy boondoggle. Alex Abad-santos, Vox, "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse won the box office with a $35 million opening weekend," 17 Dec. 2018 World of Warships has already added crossover play with Japanese anime show High School Fleet and steampunk-style ships in hopes of adding to the population. Gordon Mah Ung, PCWorld, "World of Warships dives deep for new players, adding submarines to popular naval combat game," 18 Sep. 2018 In this case, the film showcases a future that looks plenty familiar in anime and science fiction novels: a cluttered, rusted-out world that’s a little cyberpunk, a little steampunk, and a whole lot of classic anime series like Mobile Suit Gundam. Tasha Robinson, The Verge, "The Verge fall movie preview, December 2018," 7 Sep. 2018

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

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First Known Use of steampunk

1987, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for steampunk

steam entry 1 + cyberpunk

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Statistics for steampunk

Last Updated

9 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for steampunk

The first known use of steampunk was in 1987

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