in·​or·​gan·​ic | \ ˌin-(ˌ)ȯr-ˈga-nik How to pronounce inorganic (audio) \

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 How to pronounce inorganically (audio) \ adverb

Examples of inorganic in a Sentence

producing energy from inorganic materials
Recent Examples on the Web Bacteria in the bay converted the inorganic toxin into more noxious form of methylmercury. Theresa Machemer, Smithsonian Magazine, "A Dead Cat’s Brain Revives Discussion of 1960s Mercury Poisoning Disaster in Japan," 26 Mar. 2020 Enceladus shows evidence of a subsurface liquid ocean that contains organic carbon, nitrogen and inorganic salts. Brad King, WSJ, "Earth to Billionaires: Finding Life Is Space’s Final Frontier," 7 Feb. 2020 Those proteins suggest this primordial microbe thrived in scalding temperatures and ate hydrogen gas, using its electrons to convert inorganic CO2 dissolved in the ocean into energy-rich organic compounds. Robert F. Service, Science | AAAS, "Was this life’s first meal?," 2 Mar. 2020 Except for stones, bricks and other inorganic materials that are sometimes used as mulches in paths and rarely if ever need replenishing, the best materials for mulching everywhere in the garden are organic. Washington Post, "Cover your ground, for your plants’ sake," 22 Oct. 2019 Researchers have now pinpointed a silty filtration material as the culprit behind traces of inorganic arsenic, cadmium and lead in beer and wine. Rachel Berkowitz, Scientific American, "Beer and Wine Contain Traces of Metal Contaminants from Filtration Process," 11 May 2019 Javier Garcia Martinez is a professor of inorganic chemistry and director of the Molecular Nanotechnology Laboratory at the University of Alicante in Spain. Scientific American, "Contributors to "Top 10 Emerging Technologies of 2019"," 19 Nov. 2019 Arsenic is a natural element found in soil, water and air, with the inorganic form being the most toxic. Sandee Lamotte, CNN, "95% of tested baby foods contain toxic metals, report says," 17 Oct. 2019 Lampe-Onnerud, 53, has a Ph.D. in inorganic chemistry and is a native of Sweden. David Holahan,, "Profiles in Connecticut innovation: High-energy Cadenza makes power storage more efficient," 8 Nov. 2019

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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Time Traveler for inorganic

Time Traveler

The first known use of inorganic was in 1729

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Last Updated

1 Apr 2020

Cite this Entry

“Inorganic.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Apr. 2020.

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More Definitions for inorganic


How to pronounce inorganic (audio)

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 How to pronounce inorganic (audio) \

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 How to pronounce inorganically (audio) \ 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

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