dalek n.

in the British television series Doctor Who: a member of a race of aggressive alien mutants in mobile armoured casings

[An arbitrary formation.
The Daleks were created by Terry Nation and designed by Raymond Cusick; they were introduced in the second story of the BBC television science-fiction series Doctor Who, broadcast 1963–4, and have subsequently appeared many times in various associated media and merchandising.
Although Nation claimed in a 1964 interview to have taken the name of the Daleks from the range of entries Dal–Lek given on the spine of a volume of an encyclopedia, he later stated that both this explanation and the name itself were invented.]



Doctor Who

  • 1963 T. Nation Dead Planet in Doctor Who (TV script) 46

    Advance with Dalek arm down corridor.

  • 1963 T. Nation Survivors in Doctor Who (transcribed from TV programme)

    Over five hundred years ago there were two races on this planet. We, the Daleks, and the Thals.

  • 1986 New Scientist 17 Apr. 56/2

    The robots will never replace human guards entirely. Like Daleks, they have trouble with stairs.

  • 2013 S. Hannah Carrier xx. 342 page image Sophie Hannah

    β€˜Not quite,’ I say. β€˜There was some guilt, definitely, but it slipped out by accident. Her intention was to accuse me of ivory-tower cluelessness.’ β€˜Explain,’ Waterhouse orders. Half man, half Dalek.

Earliest cite

Doctor Who

Last modified 2021-03-05 03:57:47
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.