Distinguishing Duplication from Replication

Duplication vs Replication

Duplicate and replicate are terms in the English language that can be confusing due to their similar meanings. Replication is a term more commonly used when making mass copies of a product or when a virus replicates itself inside the human body. Duplicate has several meanings, but generally conveys the same idea of copying or producing another copy of something. Many people believe that because of the similarity in meaning, the two words can be used interchangeably. However, this is not accurate as there are differences that will be highlighted in this article.


To reproduce or make a copy of something is called duplication. A duplicate copy is considered to be exactly the same as the original. When making a manual invoice, it is common to use carbon paper to produce another copy of the invoice, which is called a duplicate. In movies, stunts performed by a professional with a similar appearance to the film’s hero are referred to as the hero’s duplicate.

Duplication can also have a negative connotation, such as when one discovers products that are copies of a branded product. If a product is being sold for much less than its MRP, people may suspect it to be a duplicate and not the original.


If you refer to a dictionary, the word replicate is described as a verb meaning to make an exact copy of something. Generally, the term is mostly used in biology, referring to the act of a virus or bacteria making its own copies inside a cell. In modern times, the process of making hundreds of copies of CDs is referred to as CD replication. Replication sometimes refers to reduplication, as when a virus replicates itself many times.

Key Takeaways

  • To make an exact copy of something is to duplicate
  • The results of a scientific experiment are replicated and not duplicated
  • Replication is intentional, while duplication is unintentional
Gil Tillard
Gil Tillard
Gil Tillard is an accomplished writer with expertise in creating engaging articles and content across various platforms. His dedication to research and crafting high-quality content has led to over 5 years of professional writing and editing experience. In his personal life, Gil enjoys connecting with people from diverse backgrounds and cultures. His curiosity and eagerness to learn from others fuel his passion for communication. He believes that engaging with strangers can be both enlightening and enjoyable, making it easier to strike up conversations and expand one's horizons.


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