steampunk

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noun steam·punk \ˈstēm-ˌpəŋk\

Definition of steampunk

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

steampunk was our Word of the Day on 07/16/2014. Hear the podcast!

Recent Examples of steampunk from the Web

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.

Did You Know?

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.

Origin and Etymology of steampunk

1steam + cyberpunk


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