steam·​punk | \ˈstēm-ˌpəŋk \

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

Tickets for the steampunk ball are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. Anchorage Daily News, "Coming up: Backyard Country BBQ, Alaska Hempfest and a night of island and reggae music," 21 June 2018 LeCrone, a freelance cartoonist wearing full steampunk regalia, stood and surveyed the ballroom Saturday at the Town and Country Resort in Mission Valley, where science-fiction fans had gathered for the first-ever InterGalactiCon. Phil Diehl,, "For comic book and sci-fi fans, there's a new con in town," 16 June 2018 The production designers must have had a field day creating the steampunk/art deco setting. Monica Castillo, kansascity, "High-profile cast makes ‘Hotel Artemis’ worth checking out," 7 June 2018 The retro-futuristic event (inspired by aesthetic designs and technology from the 19th century) featured artisans, musicians, and costumed characters, and attracted steampunk fans - as well as several members of photography clubs. Steve Smith, Courant Community, "Steampunk Station Takes Over Shops At Somerset Square," 21 May 2018 The event is free to the public and includes a steampunk ball as well as the first Cannabis Quest, a competition between local growers and product makers. Yoshina Okamoto, Anchorage Daily News, "Here’s your Alaska summer 2018 festival guide," 17 May 2018 The dragon, which has a steampunk-looking design, normally rolls through the streets of the theme park, occasionally rearing its head and blowing smoke and fire into the air. Dewayne Bevil,, "Video: Fire at Disney World's Festival of Fantasy parade; no one injured," 11 May 2018 Horsehead and steampunk shoes are just some of Dixie art students' latest creation. Chris Mayhew,, "In time for Derby, Dixie art class creates horsehead shoes for Vans contest," 30 Apr. 2018 Dressing up in Victorian, goth or steampunk fashion is encouraged. Courant Community, "Community News For The Manchester Edition," 24 Apr. 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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Time Traveler for steampunk

The first known use of steampunk was in 1987

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