organic

adjective
or·​gan·​ic | \ ȯr-ˈga-nik How to pronounce organic (audio) \

Definition of organic

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a(1) : of, relating to, yielding, or involving the use of food produced with the use of feed or fertilizer of plant or animal origin without employment of chemically formulated fertilizers, growth stimulants, antibiotics, or pesticides organic farming organic produce
(2) : of, relating to, or derived from living organisms organic evolution
b(1) : relating to, being, or dealt with by a branch of chemistry concerned with the carbon compounds of living beings and most other carbon compounds studied organic chemistry in college
(2) : of, relating to, or containing carbon compounds organic solvents
2a : having systematic coordination of parts : organized an organic whole
b : forming an integral element of a whole : fundamental incidental music rather than organic parts of the action— Francis Fergusson
c : having the characteristics of an organism : developing in the manner of a living plant or animal society is organic many new coinages … stem from the normal organic structure of the language— William Chomsky
3a : of, relating to, or arising in a bodily organ
b : affecting the structure of the organism an organic disease
4 : of, relating to, or constituting the law by which a government or organization exists their nation has written the separation of church and state into its organic law— Paul Blanshard
5 archaic : instrumental

organic

noun

Definition of organic (Entry 2 of 2)

: an organic substance: such as
a : a fertilizer of plant or animal origin
b : a pesticide whose active component is an organic compound or a mixture of organic compounds
c : a food produced by organic farming

Other Words from organic

Adjective

organically \ ȯr-​ˈga-​ni-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce organic (audio) \ adverb
organicity \ ˌȯr-​gə-​ˈni-​sə-​tē How to pronounce organic (audio) \ noun

Examples of organic in a Sentence

Adjective He thinks of the city not as a collection of different neighborhoods but as an organic whole. This neighborhood is an organic part of the city.
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Coffee grounds and pine needles don’t acidify soil significantly more than other organic matter. Beth Botts, Chicago Tribune, 7 Aug. 2022 Near-constant blooming uses up lots of energy, so petunias need to be planted in rich, nutrient-dense soil with plenty of organic matter. Andrea Beck, Better Homes & Gardens, 2 Aug. 2022 The Ganoderma lucidum, another species that feeds predominantly on cellulose-rich organic matter, would be unable to deal with the toxins coming from the human body. William Ralston, Wired, 26 July 2022 The castings of the jumping worms do not put the nutrients of the organic matter back into the soil. Sarah Bowman, The Indianapolis Star, 26 July 2022 This organic matter can be up to 2 feet thick but in various stages of decay. Mark Thiessen, Anchorage Daily News, 25 July 2022 Coupled with this, depending on the latitude of organic matter, the albedo effect during the growth period may lead to net warming. Erik Millar, Forbes, 25 July 2022 This organic matter can be up to 2 feet thick but in various stages of decay. Mark Thiessen, BostonGlobe.com, 25 July 2022 Bogan said that during their larvae stage, crane flies decompose organic matter. Shanti Lerner, The Arizona Republic, 22 July 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Society at large has overcome the duality of the analog and the digital, by means of the organic. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, 6 June 2022 But as concerns grow regarding food sources, chemicals and pesticides, choosing organic is an option for parents who are looking to minimize their baby’s exposure to certain preservatives and additives. Stefani Sassos, Ms, Rdn, Cso, Cdn, Nasm-cpt, Good Housekeeping, 24 May 2022 During this time, corn labelled organic was often worth twice as much as conventional corn. Ian Parker, The New Yorker, 8 Nov. 2021 After bagging up the sediment from the hearth and bringing it back to the lab, the researchers used a method called manual flotation—essentially, submerging the mixture in water—to separate the organic from the nonorganic material. Rachel Nuwer, Scientific American, 11 Oct. 2021 The computational and the organic are constantly overlaid. Sheldon Pearce, The New Yorker, 5 Oct. 2021 Mark Anderson said Drake's Organic is the only spirits company to achieve five certifications: vegan, gluten-free, non-GMO, kosher and USDA organic. Star Tribune, 25 July 2021 And the Lana record and Folklore are very different kinds of organic than this Bleachers rec-ord. Brian Hiatt, Rolling Stone, 16 June 2021 Vector vaccines are based in the organic, and thus unpredictable, world of biology. Joshua Yaffa, The New Yorker, 12 Apr. 2021 See More

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

First Known Use of organic

Adjective

1509, in the meaning defined at sense 5

Noun

1840, in the meaning defined above

Buying Guide

Our Reviews team has selected the best cotton sheets.

Learn More About organic

Time Traveler for organic

Time Traveler

The first known use of organic was in 1509

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near organic

organ gun

organic

organical

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for organic

Last Updated

12 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Organic.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/organic. Accessed 13 Aug. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for organic

organic

adjective
or·​gan·​ic | \ ȯr-ˈga-nik How to pronounce organic (audio) \

Kids Definition of organic

1 : relating to or obtained from living things organic matter
2 : relating to carbon compounds : containing carbon
3 : being, involving, or producing food grown or made without the use of artificial chemicals organic beans organic farming

organic

adjective
or·​gan·​ic | \ ȯr-ˈgan-ik How to pronounce organic (audio) \

Medical Definition of organic

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : of, relating to, or arising in a bodily organ
b : affecting the structure of the organism an organic disease — compare functional sense 1b
2a(1) : of, relating to, or derived from living organisms
(2) : relating to, yielding, dealing in, or involving the use of food produced with the use of feed or fertilizer of plant or animal origin without employment of chemically formulated fertilizers, growth stimulants, antibiotics, or pesticides organic stores
b(1) : of, relating to, or containing carbon compounds
(2) : relating to, being, or dealt with by a branch of chemistry concerned with the carbon compounds of living beings and most other carbon compounds

Other Words from organic

organically \ -​i-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce organic (audio) \ adverb
organicity \ ˌȯr-​gə-​ˈnis-​ət-​ē How to pronounce organic (audio) \ noun, plural organicities

organic

noun

Medical Definition of organic (Entry 2 of 2)

: an organic substance: as
a : a fertilizer of plant or animal origin
b : a pesticide whose active component is an organic compound or a mixture of organic compounds

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

The Great British Vocabulary Quiz

  • union jack speech bubble
  • Named after Sir Robert Peel, what are British police called?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!