construct n.

an intelligent entity that is not biological, as a sentient hologram or a digital intelligence; an artificially created or hybridized being


  • 1970 J. Blish Spock Must Die! i. 5 page image James Blish bibliography

    I am, by definition, not the same man who went into a transporter for the first time twenty years ago. I am a construct made by a machine after the image of a dead man—and the hell of it is, not even I can know how exact the imitation is, because—well, because obviously if anything is missing I wouldn’t remember it.

  • 1971 R. Silverberg Second Trip (1972) ix. 102 page image Robert Silverberg bibliography

    You’re being unreasonable, Macy. I mean, look at it objectively. You may think you exist, but you actually don’t. You’re a construct. You don’t have any more genuine reality as a person, as a human being, than that wall over there.

  • 1980 G. Benford & G. Eklund Find the Changeling iv. 79 page image Gregory Benford Gordon Eklund bibliography

    The woman was an Alvean. Despite her broad hips, loose breasts, and thick pouting lips, she was a construct, a pseudo-human, a creature designed for life on this alien world.

  • 1981 T. Lee Silver Metal Lover v. 147 page image Tanith Lee bibliography

    ‘You see,’ he said, ‘nobody damn well says “what do you need?” to a bloody robot.’ ‘There is some law which forbids me to say it?’ ‘The law of human superiority.’ ‘You are superior.’ ‘Not quite. I’m an artifact. A construct. Timeless. Soulless.’

  • 1987 J. L. Chalker Pirates of Thunder 2 page image Jack L. Chalker bibliography

    It is true that I am a construct, carrying out my master programming instructions—but so are you. I am made of different stuff, in a different way, than you, and, unlike you, I know my creator and my engineers.

  • 1990 A. McCaffrey Pegasus in Flight (1991) xiii. 215 page image Anne McCaffrey bibliography

    The screen showed the School Room and a pleasant-faced woman seated at the desk. Tirla knew that the Teacher was a construct, devised to reproduce the old teacher-pupil confrontation, but she had always liked the look of Teacher; someone a person could trust, who would not laugh at questions or honest mistakes, who was there to help one learn.

  • 1991 J. D. Vinge Summer Queen ii. 612 page image Joan D. Vinge bibliography

    I’m not just someone named Kullervo. I’m something more now. My name was—is—Vanamoinen. The real Vanamoinen died long ago; I’m a construct, a database ... his avatar, for want of a better word. I’m using Reede Kullervo to do what I have to do, here, now.

  • 1996 S. Zettel Reclamation iv. 110 page image bibliography

    ‘Is there something wrong?’ ‘Wrong, no. I just want to know where you got your hands on a construct.’ ‘A what?’ ‘A construct. A genetically engineered life-form. I’ve only seen DNA this abbreviated in theoretical texts. What did this come from? It must be kept in a damn jar!’ ‘It,’ Perivar bit the word off, ‘is a woman, Iyal. Walking, breathing, and in need of a bath, actually.’

  • 1997 A. C. Crispin Alien: Resurrection vi. 99 page image A. C. Crispin bibliography

    You’re a thing. A test construct. A clone. They grew you in a fucking lab.

  • 1999 W. Gibson All Tomorrow’s Parties xiii. 55 page image William Gibson bibliography

    How could any human, even one so thoroughly mediated, marry a construct, a congeries of software, a dream?

  • 2017 M. Wells All Systems Red 22 Martha Wells bibliography

    That’s why you need constructs, SecUnits with organic components. Ibid. 107 It doesn’t want to interact with humans. And why should it? You know how constructs are treated, especially in corporate-political environments.

  • 2020 A. Irvine Anthropocene Rag vii. 78 Alex Irvine bibliography

    The life of a construct was difficult once it became fully self-aware. Ed had seen plenty of examples of that. He did not wish it for himself.

Research requirements

antedating 1970

Research History
Suggested by Ben Ostrowsky.

Last modified 2021-08-26 14:08:06
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.