replicant n. 1

an artificial being in the form of a human or other creature; an android

Introduced in, and chiefly associated with, the 1982 film Blade Runner. The 1968 book Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick, on which the film is based, uses the term android (or andy).

SF Encyclopedia


  • 1980 H. Fancher & D. Peoples Blade Runner (film script) 22 Dec. (scene 30)

    The big religious boys said that replicants, no matter how human, were objects, only God could make people.

  • 1991 Locus May 66/3

    He got into this crazy stuff about…replicants.

  • 2000 Interzone Nov. 42/1

    Like replicants for androids, the deathkiss word ‘superhero’ is avoided altogether for the techy euphemism ‘mutant,’ even though the one thing that all the homines superiores seem to have in common is really dumb comiesy superpowers that could only have been invented by a Marvel bullpensman on a bad caffeine high: controlling weather, doing ice sculptures, projecting something called ‘optic blasts’ (which have given generations of writers migraines of their own trying to rationalize).

  • 2002 N.Y. Times (Nexis) 4 Jan. e26

    [He] plays a scientist who has found a way of distinguishing the deadly robots from actual people but then falls under suspicion of being a replicant himself.

Research requirements

antedating 1980

Earliest cite

in Blade Runner script

Last modified 2022-02-10 18:19:06
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.