early 15c. (Chauliac), replicaten, "repeat," from Late Latin replicatus, past participle of replicare "to reply, repeat," in classical Latin "fold back, fold over, bend back," from re- "back, again" (see re-) + plicare "to fold" (from PIE root *plek- "to plait").
Meaning "to copy, reproduce, make a replica of" is from 1882, a back-formation from replication. The scientific sense of "repeat (an experiment) and get a consistent result" is by 1923. Genetic sense is recorded from 1957. Related: Replicated; replicating; replicative.
1832, in botany, of a leaf, "folded back upon itself; folded so as to form a groove," from Latin replicatus, past participle of replicare "to fold back, fold over" (see replicate (v.)).