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 A. E. van Vogt

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

  • 1950 ‘M. Pearson’ Ajax of Ajax in Flight Into Space 132

    On Mars, the United Beings have had an equilateral democracy for so many hundreds of thousands of years that no idea of kings or nobles exist at all. But after all what can you expect of non-humans? Only an Ajax Calkins can be truly noble, and Ajax Calkins is a man.

  • 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.

  • 1954 R. A. Heinlein in Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction May 60 Robert A. Heinlein

    A non-human on Earth without a passport, without a dossier in the hands of the department, without an approved reason for visiting Earth, would be as helpless as a bride without a ration book.

  • 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.

  • 1978 A. D. Foster Splinter of Mind's Eye 79 Alan Dean Foster

    I didn’t know the Imperials were hiring non-humans.

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

    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.

  • 1985 A. Cole & C. Bunch Court of Thousand Suns (1990) 19 Allan Cole Chris Bunch bibliography

    For the first time the finals were not between two of the Guards Divisions. Instead, one team of nonhumans, from the XVIII Planetary Landing Force, would challenge the top-ranked men and women of the Third Guards Division.

  • 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.

  • 2005 C. Stross Accelerando iii. 111 Charles Stross

    We need a framework for rights that can encompass nonhumans, and we need it as fast as possible.

  • 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 would like to verify the cite in its first publication in Future, August, 1942.
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 2021-04-17 03:17:17
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.