cyberspace

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Blend of cybernetics +‎ space, coined by science-fiction writer William Gibson in his 1982 short story collection Burning Chrome and popularized in his 1984 novel Neuromancer.

Pronunciation[edit]

  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈsaɪ.bə(ɹ)ˌspeɪs/
  • enPR: SAÏ-buhr-speïs

Noun[edit]

cyberspace (countable and uncountable, plural cyberspaces)

  1. A world of information accessed through the Internet.
  2. (by extension, somewhat dated) The Internet as a whole.
    Synonyms: see Thesaurus:Internet
    • 1993 March, Mitch Kapor, “Where Is the Digital Highway Really Heading?”, in Wired Magazine[1]:
      Meanwhile, the pioneers of the computer-mediated communication networks collectively referred to as cyberspace are not willing to wait. Employing whatever tools they can find, they are constantly pushing the techno-cultural envelope. Life in cyberspace is often conducted in primitive, frontier conditions, but it is a life which, at its best, is more egalitarian than elitist, and more decentralized than hierarchical.
    • 2012 April 19, Josh Halliday, “Free speech haven or lawless cesspool – can the internet be civilised?”, in the Guardian[2]:
      However, some have accused cyberspace of provoking a dangerous collapse in the old order of civilised society. The shift in the balance of power online has given rise to a more powerful concern: the rise of the uncivil web.
    • 2020 June 23, John Bolton, The Room Where It Happened, →ISBN, page 175:
      If, as we knew with increasing certainty, Russia, China, North Korea, Iran, and others were contesting us in cyberspace, it was time to fight back.
  3. (science fiction) A three-dimensional representation of virtual space in a computer network.
    • 1982 July, Gibson, William, “Burning Chrome”, in Omni, volume 4, number 10, page 72:
      I knew every chip in Bobby's simulator by heart; it looked like your workaday Ono-Sendai VII, the ‘Cyberspace Seven’, but I'd rebuilt it so many times that you'd have had a hard time finding a square millimetre of factory circuitry in all that silicon.
    • 1984, Gibson, William, Neuromancer, page 51:
      Cyberspace. A consensual hallucination experienced daily by billions of legitimate operators, in every nation, by children being taught mathematical concepts… A graphic representation of data abstracted from banks of every computer in the human system. Unthinkable complexity. Lines of light ranged in the nonspace of the mind, clusters and constellations of data. Like city lights, receding…

Translations[edit]

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