in·​or·​gan·​ic | \ˌin-(ˌ)ȯr-ˈga-nik \

Definition of inorganic 

1a(1) : being or composed of matter other than plant or animal : mineral

(2) : forming or belonging to the inanimate world

b : of, relating to, or dealt with by a branch of chemistry concerned with substances not usually classed as organic

2 : not arising from natural growth : artificial also : lacking structure, character, or vitality dull inorganic things, without individuality or prestige — John Buchan

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Other Words from inorganic

inorganically \ˌin-​(ˌ)ȯr-​ˈga-​ni-​k(ə-​)lē \ adverb

Examples of inorganic in a Sentence

producing energy from inorganic materials

Recent Examples on the Web

Picking Mulch for Your Garden There are two basic kinds of mulch: organic and inorganic. The Editors, Good Housekeeping, "How to Mulch Your Garden and Stop Weeds in Their Tracks," 26 June 2018 Mahoney: Those kinds of workouts ask players to demonstrate organic skills, but the entire format is inorganic. Rob Mahoney,, "Breakaway: Inside the Life of Future Lottery Pick Mikal Bridges," 15 June 2018 Jan Reedijk, then president of IUPAC’s inorganic-chemistry division, says that the initial announcement was made early to avoid press leaks and to satisfy demands from the claimant labs, which were eager to get the news out. Edwin Cartlidge, Scientific American, "The Battle Behind the Periodic Table’s Latest Additions," 13 June 2018 There are two basic kinds of mulch: organic and inorganic. The Editors Of Organic Life, Good Housekeeping, "What Every Gardener Should Know About Mulching," 28 Feb. 2017 As Boston descended into winter, Subbarow began to spend every waking moment in the lab, working with associate professor Dr. Cyrus Fiske on a new method to measure the amount of inorganic phosphorus in biologic tissue. Aaron Gilbreath, Longreads, "We Are Scientists," 5 June 2018 This dreadful indie comedy rarely replicates life, instead offering dialogue that someone thought was funny said by awful characters in the midst of inorganic situations. Kimber Myers,, "Supposed comedy 'Funeral Day' is every bit as unpleasant as its title suggests," 31 May 2018 But the executive order in March to ban the import of inorganic produce from neighboring states threw the state into turmoil, with prices of cabbage tripling in the markets, traders in revolt and the opposition party marching in protest. Annie Gowen, Washington Post, "Pesticides helped bring modern farming to India. One tiny state is leading the charge to ban them.," 31 May 2018 That number lines up with measurements taken of bricks and other inorganic objects measured at the time. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "New Study Shows Full Extent of Radiation Damage to Hiroshima Victims," 1 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'inorganic.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of inorganic

1729, in the meaning defined at sense 1a(1)

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Statistics for inorganic

Last Updated

12 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for inorganic

The first known use of inorganic was in 1729

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English Language Learners Definition of inorganic

: made from or containing material that does not come from plants or animals


in·​or·​gan·​ic | \ˌin-ˌȯr-ˈgan-ik \

Medical Definition of inorganic 

1a : being or composed of matter other than plant or animal an inorganic heart

b : forming or belonging to the inanimate world

2 : of, relating to, or dealt with by a branch of chemistry concerned with substances not usually classified as organic

Other Words from inorganic

inorganically \-​i-​k(ə-​)lē \ adverb

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More from Merriam-Webster on inorganic

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with inorganic

Spanish Central: Translation of inorganic

Nglish: Translation of inorganic for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of inorganic for Arabic Speakers

Comments on inorganic

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a soft lustrous wool fabric with mohair

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