- a type of science fiction typically describing a violent, urban future in which computers and drugs predominate
- Slang hacker
Origin of cyberpunkcyber- + punk ()
(countable and uncountable, plural cyberpunks)
- (science fiction, uncountable) A subgenre of science fiction which focuses on computer or information technology and virtual reality.
- (countable) A cyberpunk character, a hacker punk, a high-tech low life.
- The film The Matrix redefined what a cyberpunk looked like.
- (countable) A writer of cyberpunk fiction.
cyber- + punk, coined by Bruce Bethke as the title of a 1983 short story.
cyberpunk - Computer Definition
This word, which literally combines the words cyber and punk, first appeared as the title of a short story entitled “Cyberpunk,” by Bruce Bethke. The term was published in the AMAZING science fiction stories magazine in 1983. The short story was a high-tech science fiction story about a group of teenage crackers with ethical shortcomings. Bethke said that the coining of the word was his attempt to find a word that would combine the notions of “punk attitudes” and “high-technology.”
In a 1993 issue of Time magazine, the term “cyberpunk” was more broadly used to define a culture involved with virtual sex, drugs, and rock and roll music—a counterculture segment of the computer age. The term combined “cyber” from communication and control theory with “punk” to indicate a rebellious youth segment with anti-social tendencies and having a disdain for conventional ways of using cyber tools.
Two defining books of cyberpunk include Neuromancer by William Gibson and Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson.