insectoid adj.

(esp. of an alien) insect-like


  • 1950 'S. Walters' All You Do Is Tranz the Frammis! in Amazing Stories July 82/1 page image Walt Sheldon bibliography

    The third creature was hard, stiff, plated, and insectoid.

  • 1953 O. Stapledon Star Maker in To End of Time 306 Olaf Stapledon bibliography

    At the time of our visit to the most striking of these insectoid worlds the world-population consisted of many great nations of swarms. Each individual swarm had its own nest, its Lilliputian city, an area of about an acre, in which the ground was honey-combed to a depth of two feet with chambers and passages. The surrounding district was devoted to the cultivation of the moss-like food-plants. As the swarm increased in size, colonies might be founded beyond the range of the physiological radio system of the parent swarm. Thus arose new group-individuals. But neither in this race, nor in the race of bird-clouds, was their anything corresponding to our successive generations of individual minds. Within the minded group, the insectoid units were ever dying off and giving place to fresh units, but the mind of the group was potentially immortal.

  • 1953 R. S. Shaver Beyond the Barrier in Other Worlds Jan. 103/2 page image Richard S. Shaver bibliography

    They revealed a long-bodied insectoid creature, rather attractively colored in a complex green and gold pattern. They went upon two legs, and used their other six legs for wielding tools, the tools with which they destroyed their forests and their soil. Their heads were handsome, almost animal in shape, with well defined nose and chin like humans.

  • 1956 A. C. Clarke Publicity Campaign in Satellite Science Fiction Oct. 112/2 page image Arthur C. Clarke bibliography

    The malevolent insectoid shapes shown pouring from the skies bore no resemblance at all to Prince Zervashni, who, apart from his four eyes, might have been mistaken for a panda with purple fur—and who, moreover, had come from Rigel, not Sirius.

  • 1972 A. D. Foster Tar-Aiym Krang 122 Alan Dean Foster bibliography

    The thranx were as alien as any race man had yet encountered. A hundred-percent insectoid, hard-shelled, open circulatory system, compound eyes, rigid, inflexible joints…and eight limbs. And they were egg-layers. As a news commentator of the time put it, ‘they were completely and delightfully weird.’

  • 1978 A. M. Ratner in Dragon May 4/2

    The Bugs fulfill the effectively mandatory requirement in an SF game for an insectoid race. They were influenced by quite a few bug races in SF.

  • 1986 G. Benford in Asimov’s Science Fiction Feb. 26 Gregory Benford

    The tour agency said…you hardly noticed them, they deliberately blended in so well. How a seven-foot insectoid thing with gleaming russet skin can look like an Egyptian I don’t know.

  • 1991 O. S. Card Xenocide viii. 118 Orson Scott Card bibliography

    The insectoid aliens had haunted her nightmares.

  • 1998 K. W. Jeter Star Wars: Mandalorian Armor 168 K. W. Jeter bibliography

    The short bounty hunter, with the large insectoid eyes and breathing hoses, stood in the doorway.

  • 2020 E. Bear Machine i. 12 Elizabeth Bear bibliography

    And Hhayazh, in particular, is the sort of twiggy, bristle-covered, black-carapaced insectoid sentience that gives groundlubbers the shrieking jimjams.

Research requirements

antedating 1950

Research History
Enoch Forrester submitted a cite from a 1983 reprint of Alan Dean Foster's "The Tar-Aiym Krang"; Elizabeth McCoy verified the cite in a 1975 printing, and Ben Ostrowsky verified the cite in the 1972 first edition.
Enoch Forrester submitted a 1978 cite from an article by Mark Ratner in The Dragon.
Enoch Forrester submitted a 1981 cite from an article by Jon Mattson in Dragon Magazine.
Enoch Forrester submitted a 1982 cite from an article by John Sapienza in Dragon Magazine.
Douglas Winston submitted a cite from a reprint of Gregory Benford's "Of Space-Time and the River"; Mike Christie verified the cite in the 1986 first magazine appearance.
Douglas Winston submitted a 1998 cite from K.W. Jeter's "The Mandalorian Armor".
Fred Galvin submitted a 1958 cite from an editorial article in Future Science Fiction (no. 37, June 1958).
Fred Galvin submitted a 1956 cite from Arthur C. Clarke's "Publicity Campaign". Fred notes that post-1956 reprints of the story used "insectile" rather than "insectoid"; and that the story was first published in the London Evening News, 1953 (possibly in March). We would like to see confirmation, or otherwise, of the use of "insectoid" in this first publication.
Fred Galvin submitted a 1955 cite from "Charles Satterfield" (Frederik Pohl), "With Redfern on Capella XII"
Fred Galvin submitted a 1953 cite from "Beyond the Barrier" by Richard S. Shaver
Fred Galvin submitted cites from a 1953 reprint of Olaf Stapledon's "Star Maker": we would like to verify these in the 1937 first publication. Jesse Sheidlower submitted a 1950 cite from Amazing Stories.
Ben Ostrowsky submitted a 2020 cite from Elizabeth Bear.

Last modified 2021-04-29 16:43:32
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.