1903, in botany, from Greek klon "a twig, spray," related to klados "sprout, young branch, offshoot of a plant," possibly from PIE root *kel- (1) "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.
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