The Online Encyclopedia and Dictionary







As a word, clone was first coined by JBS Haldane as subject for theoretical replication of a frog, though the term clone is derived from κλων, the Greek word for "twig". In horticulture, the spelling clon was used until the twentieth century. The final e came into use to indicate the vowel is a "long o" instead of a "short o" (Pollard, 1905a,b; Stearn, 1949). Since the term entered the popular lexicon in a more general context, the spelling clone has been used exclusively.

  • In algebra, a clone is a set of operations containing all projections, and closed under substitution.
  • A clone is also a butch or masculine gay man, though the term is mostly associated with the 70s and 80s. The "clone uniform" is mustach, jeans, and white t-shirt. Contrast with the earlier camp: swish and drag.
  • A clone is also a slang term for any car on the road resembling the one you are driving, i.e. same make, model, and color.


  • C.L. Pollard. 1905a. On the spelling of "clon". Science (new series) 22:87-88.
  • C.L. Pollard. 1905b. "Clon" versus "clone". Science (new series) 22:469.
  • W.T. Stearn. 1949. The use of the term "clone". Journal of the Royal Horticultural Society 74:41-47.

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