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See also: trans-mat



Attested since the 1950s, from transmit or transfer and matter; perhaps popularized by the British science fiction television series Doctor Who.


transmat (plural transmats)

  1. (Britain, science fiction) A teleporter; a fictional device that transfers/transmits matter from one location to another without the object traversing the intervening distance as itself.
    • 1959 June 1, Janifer, Laurence, “Obey that Impulse!”, in Future Science Fiction, number 43, page 40:
      One of these days.., they'll invent a Transmat that'll set you down anywhere.
    • 1970 June 1, Silverberg, Robert, “The Tower of Glass”, in Galaxy Science Fiction, volume 30, number 3, page 83:
      Three lines of workers began to vanish into the transmats, heading for their homes in the android compounds of five continents, []
    • 1975, Terry Nation, Genesis of the Daleks (Doctor Who, season 12, serial 4), opening dialogue:
      TIME LORD: Ah. Welcome, Doctor.
      DOCTOR: What's going on? Don't you realize how dangerous it is to intercept a transmat beam?
      TIME LORD: Oh, come, Doctor, not with our techniques. We Time Lords transcended such simple mechanical devices when the universe was less than half its present size.
    • 1983, The Long Way Home (video game published with 16/48 Magazine)
      You are in a TRANS-MAT unit. You see a faulty control panel with a button on it.
    • 2005, Russell T Davies, Bad Wolf (Doctor Who series 1, episode 12):
      LYNDA: Oh, that's the transmat. Scrambles your head — I was sick for days.
    • For more examples of usage of this term, see Citations:transmat.


transmat (third-person singular simple present transmats, present participle transmatting, simple past and past participle transmatted)

  1. (Britain, science fiction) To teleport; to travel via transmat device.
    • 1991, Peter David, Michael Jan Friedman, Carmen Carter and Robert Greenberger, Doomsday World (Star Trek: The Next Generation; 12), Pocket Books, →ISBN, page 171:
      It wasn't far enough away to think about transmatting and besides, that was no longer a viable option, what with vandals having wrecked some of the booths in the area.
    • 1999, Paul Magrs and Jeremy Hoad, The Blue Angel (Doctor Who: Eighth Doctor Adventures; 27), BBC Worldwide, →ISBN, page 36:
      'No, you're not,' Blandish put in smoothly 'You're transmatting down with me. I'll head the away team and I'll consent to let you advise.'
    • 2010, Michalowski, Mark, Shining Darkness (Doctor Who: New Series Adventures; 27), BBC Worldwide, →ISBN, page 17:
      Donna twisted her neck around to try to find the Doctor, but she realised that she'd been transmatted alone.
    • For more examples of usage of this term, see Citations:transmat.