non-human n.

a non-human creature or organism, such as an animal, an alien, or a supernatural being; = unhuman n.


  • 1927 E. A. Zangwill Simplification of Grammar in The Vote 2 Sept. 276/2

    If this planet were to be invaded by Martians, nationality would be forgotten, for all races would be united against these non-Earthians. And if, further, these Martians were tentacled creatures, such as Wells describes them, sex would be forgotten, for both men and women would be united against these non-humans.

  • 1942 ‘L. del Rey’ Wings of Night in Astounding Science-Fiction Mar. 52/1 page image Lester del Rey bibliography

    Fats has some funny ideas about nonhumans, but he’s a good-hearted sort, on the whole.

  • 1943 ‘H. Clement’ Attitude in Astounding Science Fiction Sept. 13/1 page image Hal Clement

    They bore some resemblance to the nonhumans of Tau Ceti’s first planet, having evidently evolved from a radially symmetric, star[-]fishlike form to a somewhat more specialized type with differentiated locomotive and prehensile appendages.

  • 1945 A. E. van Vogt World of Null-A in Astounding Science Fiction Oct. 93/1 page image A. E. van Vogt bibliography

    First, the word ‘alien’ seems all wrong. There are too many human beings involved. Gosseyn, human beings would not co-operate with nonhumans.

  • 1952 P. Anderson Star Plunderer in Planet Stories Sept. 58/1 page image Poul Anderson bibliography

    I groaned at that thought and tried desperately to assure myself that Kathryn’s technical knowledge would keep her in the possession of a nonhuman.

  • 1957 A. Norton Star Born (1958) 45 Andre Norton

    And oddly enough it also bothered him to occupy a post which earlier had served not a nonhuman such as Sssuri, whom he admired, but a humanoid whom he had been taught from childhood to avoid—if not fear.

  • 1977 A. D. Foster End of Matter 70 Alan Dean Foster

    Not that it mattered anyway. The Qwarm clan had often accepted assignments from nonhumans.

  • 1982 I. Asimov Foundation’s Edge 284 Isaac Asimov bibliography

    Right now, I think that if you thought you were going to encounter nonhumans, you wouldn’t worry about having been captured…if they but gave you a little time to sate your curiosity.

  • 1995 Extrapolation Spring 33

    ‘Everyone’s human’, he blithely informs the Vulcan Spock, who urbanely replies on behalf of the film’s many eloquent nonhumans: ‘I find that remark insulting’.

  • 2002 J. E. Czerneda To Trade Stars 32 Julie E. Czerneda

    I opened my mouth to contradict his humanocentric view of things, given the Heerii Drapsk had found the Rugheran homeworld and I, another non-Human, had already had a more-or-less successful encounter with a member of the species.

  • 2006 J. Scalzi Ghost Brigades (2007) vi. 135

    Jared remembered that the Empee was trained to his BrainPal; it wouldn’t fire for a nonhuman.

Research requirements

antedating 1927

Research History
Edward Bornstein submitted a 1954 cite from Robert Heinlein's "Star Lummox".
Enoch Forrester submitted a cite from a reprint of Isaac Asimov's "Foundation's Edge"; Mike Christie verified the cite in the 1982 first edition.
Malcolm Farmer submitted a cite from a reprint of Poul Anderson's "The Star Plunderer"; Mike Christie verified the cite in the 1952 original magazine appearance.
Douglas Winston submitted a 1977 cite from Alan Dean Foster's "The End of the Matter".
Douglas Winston submitted a 2002 cite from Julie Czerneda's "To Trade the Stars".
Douglas Winston submitted a cite from a 1990 reprint of Allan Cole and Chris Bunch's 1986 "The Court of a Thousand Suns".
Douglas Winston submitted a cite from a 1966 reprint of Andre Norton's 1957 "Star Born"; Mike Christie verified the cite in a 1958 edition.
Mike Christie submitted a 1945 cite from A. E. van Vogt's "World of Null-A".
Mike Christie submitted a 1943 cite from Hal Clement's "Attitude".
Fred Galvin submitted a cite from a 1950 reprint of Donald A. Wollheim's "Ajax of Ajax" (published under the pseudonym "Martin Pearson"); we do not need to bother verifying the cite in its first publication in Future, August, 1942, as we already have enough other evidence from this era.
Fred Galvin submitted a cite from a reprint of Lester del Rey's 1942 "The Wings of Night": Mike Christie verified it in its first publication.
Simon Koppel submitted a 1927 cite from The Vote: The Organ of the Women's Freedom League.

See the note on the adjective form of "non-human" for more information.

Last modified 2023-10-30 23:09:49
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.