an organism (occ. a human) that has arisen by genetic mutation; mutant n.
The 1931 Hamilton quote presumably refers to the change, rather than the organism; the other examples of mutation in that story all clearly refer to the change.
For it is the cosmic rays, beating upon every living organism on earth, that cause the profound changes in the structure of those organisms which we call mutations. ]
Man Who Evolved in Wonder Stories Apr. 1269/2
During that period our present wise rule of inspecting each infant for the mark of sin and returning to the Converter any who are found to be mutations was not in force.
Universe in Astounding Science-Fiction May 16/2
It would be impossible for a despised mutation ever to become Lord Leader.
Hand of the Gods in Astounding Science-Fiction Dec. 144/1
He said that ‘M-G’ meant ‘mutation-Ganymede’ and the other meant ‘normal terrestrial.’
Farmer in Sky (1975) ix. 100
The sports and monsters…almost surely were spontaneous mutations erupting from all the ambient radioactivity.
Space Seed in J. Blish Star Trek 2 (1968) 113
Unaccountable rarities do occur. A mutation?
Star Trek 5 41
It was too hot to eat, but I brushed it off and broke it open. It was well cooked, steaming hot, spicy, and sweet. It had not existed before the Humans had their war. Lilith said it was one of the few good-tasting mutations she had eaten.
Imago (1991) . v. 112
Most humans would simply have died of fright at the sight of the giant squid, a monster from their nightmares come to thrashing, sinewy life. But Albert Garrick was not most humans. In fact, he was not mostly human. He was a mutation and, unlike the mutation he was fighting, Garrick had been augmented. He was better, in ways he was discovering as he went.
Forever Man x. 147
Research HistoryOED update June 2003: SF sense added with earliest cite of 1941 (Heinlein).
Ben Ostrowsky submitted a 2015 cite from Eoin Colfer.
Last modified 2021-08-17 15:23:19
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.