organic

adjective
or·​gan·​ic | \ȯr-ˈga-nik \

Definition of organic 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 archaic : instrumental

2a : of, relating to, or arising in a bodily organ

b : affecting the structure of the organism an organic disease

3a(1) : of, relating to, or derived from living organisms organic evolution

(2) : 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

b(1) : of, relating to, or containing carbon compounds organic solvents

(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 studied organic chemistry in college

4a : forming an integral element of a whole : fundamental incidental music rather than organic parts of the action— Francis Fergusson

b : having systematic coordination of parts : organized an organic whole

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

5 : 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

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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from organic

Adjective

organically \ȯr-​ˈga-​ni-​k(ə-​)lē \ adverb
organicity \ˌȯr-​gə-​ˈni-​sə-​tē \ 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

The plan, known as the Horned Cow Initiative, was championed by Mr. Capaul, a 67-year-old organic farmer who argued that the dehorning process—which involves burning off horns with a hot iron—was unnatural and painful. Brian Blackstone, WSJ, "Swiss Voters to Cows: We Won’t Pay for You to Keep Your Horns," 25 Nov. 2018 At Hogstead Farm in Marysville, organic farmer Luke Conyac has seen increased interest in his turkeys compared with previous holiday seasons. Hannah Rodriguez, The Seattle Times, "Turkey prices are lowest in a decade, but not for the kinds Washington farmers raise. Those are soaring.," 22 Nov. 2018 Greene is an organic farmer in Grove City, Minnesota, and has served in the Army National Guard, according to his campaign website. Kaitlyn Schallhorn, Fox News, "Minnesota state House candidate uses racial slur in campaign ad," 30 Aug. 2018 Its growth has been organic, as opposed to through mergers and acquisitions, which has allowed it to maintain a consistent culture of quality and stability. Jessica Levy, Cincinnati.com, "Medpace speeds the advancement of safe, effective medical therapeutics," 8 June 2018 The workshop will be led by organic farmer Jon Belber of Holly Hill Farm. Zipporah Osei, BostonGlobe.com, "Community Bulletin Board," 16 May 2018 But beneath the glitz, beyond the firsts, Jordan isn’t all that different from Balukoff and Peter Dill, a 63-year-old Emmett organic farmer and attorney who is also seeking the governor’s mantle. Maria L. La Ganga, idahostatesman, "Paulette Jordan claims Democratic victory: 'We won this race by everyone.' | Idaho Statesman," 15 May 2018 After lunch and a short business meeting, Marcia Coleman, owner of Coleman Gardens, will share her story about becoming an organic farmer who now supplies produce to the Avon Lake Farmers Market and local restaurants. Julie A. Short/special To Cleveland.com, cleveland.com, "Swensons restaurant, Planet Fitness coming to Avon: Short Takes on Avon, Avon Lake and North Ridgeville," 22 Apr. 2018 For both Stone and Hilbert, one of their most memorable experiences in Burgundy was spending time with organic snail farmer, Sylvain Peyrot. Jean Trinh, Los Angeles Magazine, "An Inside Look at the Trip to France That Inspired Maude’s Newest Menu," 10 Apr. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Jennifer Eigenbrode, an astrobiologist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland who led the organics study, said she's intrigued by the possibility that life might have existed and adapted on Mars. Marcia Dunn, chicagotribune.com, "New Mars discoveries in ancient lakebed advance case for possible life," 7 June 2018 The Stardust recovery mission found organics and glycine - one of the simplest amino acids. Jamie Seidel, Fox News, "Wild new alien theory emerges," 28 June 2018 Lunt says future systems that yoke UV-capturing perovskites to infrared-capturing organics could reach efficiencies of 20%, while still being nearly entirely transparent. Robert F. Service, Science | AAAS, "Skyscrapers could soon generate their own power, thanks to see-through solar cells," 28 June 2018 After moving to Los Angeles with her now-husband, Deters began concocting her own products out of her kitchen until finding a lab in Canada that shared her dedication to organics. Zoe Ruffner, Vogue, "Meet the Brilliant New Skin-Care Line That Would Make Marie Kondo Proud," 21 June 2018 Saturn moon Enceladus is first alien 'water world' with complex organics. Fox News, "FOX NEWS FIRST: The battle over the Supreme Court begins; Trump-Putin summit details to be revealed," 28 June 2018 Perhaps, some researchers speculated, Mars’s remaining organics—and thus any signs of past or present life—were locked away in its subsurface depths. Adam Mann, Scientific American, "Curiosity Rover Uncovers Long-Sought Organic Materials on Martian Surface," 7 June 2018 The bad news, McKay said, is that all missions to Mars have tried to find organics using this heat method. Ashley May, USA TODAY, "NASA may have burned best proof of life on Mars by accident over 40 years ago," 12 July 2018 From there, the organics are ejected into space in icy plumes that reach more than 10,000 above the ground, where our spacecraft can snatch them out of the void. Jay Bennett, Popular Mechanics, "Saturn's Moon Enceladus Is Spewing Complex Organic Molecules Into Space," 27 June 2018

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.

See More

First Known Use of organic

Adjective

1509, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

1840, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about organic

Statistics for organic

Last Updated

6 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for organic

The first known use of organic was in 1509

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for organic

organic

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of organic

of food : grown or made without the use of artificial chemicals

: not using artificial chemicals

: of, relating to, or obtained from living things

organic

adjective
or·​gan·​ic | \ȯr-ˈga-nik \

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 \

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 \ adverb
organicity \ˌȯr-​gə-​ˈnis-​ət-​ē \ noun, plural -ties

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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on organic

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with organic

Spanish Central: Translation of organic

Nglish: Translation of organic for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of organic for Arabic Speakers

Comments on organic

What made you want to look up organic? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

having a pattern of small flowers

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Find the Cousins

  • a-large-tree-with-many-branches
  • Which pair shares a common word ancestor?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

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!