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 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 But Consumer Reports notes concerns about levels of inorganic arsenic in the product. Sonja Haller, USA TODAY, "6 ways parents can reduce heavy metals in the food they give their babies," 18 Oct. 2019 Four of seven infant rice cereals tested contained inorganic arsenic, which is the more toxic form of the metal, in levels exceeding the Food and Drug Administration’s proposed limit of 100 parts per billion. Sarah Jackson, NBC News, "95 percent of baby foods tested contain toxic metals, new report says," 17 Oct. 2019 Use a soil mix of 30 percent organic matter to 70 percent inorganic soil for all California natives and other water-wise, Mediterranean-climate and desert plants. Nan Sterman, San Diego Union-Tribune, "29 garden chores for October," 2 Oct. 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

5 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Inorganic.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Feb. 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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