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[klohn] /kloʊn/
  1. a cell, cell product, or organism that is genetically identical to the unit or individual from which it was derived.
  2. a population of identical units, cells, or individuals that derive from the same ancestral line.
a person or thing that duplicates, imitates, or closely resembles another in appearance, function, performance, or style:
All the fashion models seemed to be clones of one another.
verb (used with object), cloned, cloning.
to produce a copy or imitation of.
  1. to cause to grow as a clone.
  2. to separate (a batch of cells or cell products) so that each portion produces only its own kind.
verb (used without object), cloned, cloning.
Biology. to grow as a clone.
Origin of clone
First recorded in 1900-05, clone is from the Greek word klṓn a slip, twig
Related forms
clonal, adjective
clonally, adverb
cloner, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for clonal


a group of organisms or cells of the same genetic constitution that are descended from a common ancestor by asexual reproduction, as by cuttings, grafting, etc, in plants
Also called gene clone. a segment of DNA that has been isolated and replicated by laboratory manipulation: used to analyse genes and manufacture their products (proteins)
(informal) a person or thing bearing a very close resemblance to another person or thing
  1. a mobile phone that has been given the electronic identity of an existing mobile phone, so that calls made on the second phone are charged to the owner of the first phone
  2. any similar object or device, such as a credit card, that has been given the electronic identity of another device usually in order to commit theft
to produce or cause to produce a clone
(informal) to produce near copies (of a person or thing)
(transitive) (slang) to give (a mobile phone, etc) the electronic identity of an existing mobile phone (or other device), so that calls, purchases, etc made with the second device are charged to the owner of the first device
Derived Forms
clonal, adjective
clonally, adverb
Word Origin
C20: from Greek klōn twig, shoot; related to klan to break
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for clonal



1903, in botany, from Greek klon "a twig, spray," related to klados "sprout, young branch, offshoot of a plant," possibly from PIE root *kel- "to strike, cut" (see holt). Figurative use by 1978.



1959, from clone (n.). Related: Cloned; cloning. Extension to genetic duplication of animals and human beings is from 1970.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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clonal in Medicine

clone (klōn)

  1. A group of genetically identical cells descended from a single common ancestor, such as a bacterial colony whose members arose from a single original cell as a result of binary fission.

  2. An organism descended asexually from a single ancestor, such as a plant produced by layering or a polyp produced by budding.

  3. A replica of a DNA sequence, such as a gene, produced by genetic engineering.

v. cloned, clon·ing, clones
  1. To make multiple identical copies of a DNA sequence.

  2. To establish and maintain pure lineages of a cell under laboratory conditions.

  3. To reproduce or propagate asexually.

clon'al (klō'nəl) adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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clonal in Science
  1. A cell, group of cells, or organism that is produced asexually from and is genetically identical to a single ancestor. The cells of an individual plant or animal, except for gametes and some cells of the immune system, are clones because they all descend from a single fertilized cell and are genetically identical. A clone may be produced by fission, in the case of single-celled organisms, by budding, as in the hydra, or in the laboratory by putting the nucleus of a diploid cell into an egg that has had its nucleus removed. Some plants can produce clones from horizontal stems, such as runners. Clones of other cells and some plants and animals can also be produced in a laboratory. See also therapeutic cloning.

  2. A copy of a sequence of DNA, as from a gene, that is produced by genetic engineering. The clone is then transplanted into the nucleus of a cell from which genetic material has been removed.

  1. To produce or grow a cell, group of cells, or organism from a single original cell.

  2. To make identical copies of a DNA sequence. See more at genetic engineering.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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clonal in Culture

clone definition

A living system that is genetically identical to its ancestor (that is, it has exactly the same DNA molecules). Because each cell contains the DNA molecules that characterize an individual, it is, in principle, possible to replicate, or reproduce, complex living systems in the laboratory.

Note: The first cloned mammal, a sheep named Dolly, was born in Scotland in 1996. DNA from an adult donor was placed into an egg, which was then implanted in the uterus of another sheep. Since that time, mice, cows, and pigs have been cloned.
Note: There is a major debate on the ethical aspects (see bioethics) of cloning, especially as applied to human beings. Therapeutic cloning involves the placing of adult DNA in an egg for the express purpose of creating stem cells for medical purposes. Reproductive cloning involves the placement of adult DNA into an egg and the implantation of the egg into a uterus for the purpose of creating a viable fetus.
Note: Clone is often used informally to indicate a close copy or resemblance: “This new computer is a clone of the IBM model.”
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Slang definitions & phrases for clonal



An imitation, esp a person who imitates or emulates another; a mindless copy: Not a clone in sight. No one has the same color hair

[1970s+; fr clone, ''the asexually produced offspring of an organism,'' ultimately fr Greek klon, ''twig, branch'']

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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