early 15c., "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. Genetic sense is first recorded 1957. Related: Replicated; replicating.
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