organic

1 of 2

adjective

or·​gan·​ic ȯr-ˈga-nik How to pronounce organic (audio)
1
a(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
2
a
: 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
3
a
: 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
organically adverb
organicity noun

organic

2 of 2

noun

: 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

Example Sentences

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 company’s home pickup program incentivizes the island’s 500 residents to separate trash into three categories: organic matter; paper, plastic, aluminum, and glass; and everything else. Erika Page, The Christian Science Monitor, 22 Nov. 2022 Most compost bins use carbon filters to reduce the smell and help aid the breakdown process of organic matter, which can take a long time. Sarah Madaus, SELF, 18 Nov. 2022 Natural farming replaces all chemical fertilizers and pesticides with organic matter such as cow dung, cow urine and jaggery, a type of solid dark sugar made from sugarcane, to boost soil nutrient levels. Sibi Arasu, ajc, 12 Nov. 2022 This thawing is waking up the microbes in the soil that feast on organic matter, allowing methane and carbon dioxide to escape from the soil and into the atmosphere. Katie Hunt, CNN, 12 Nov. 2022 The process involves placing a body inside a metal or wooden vessel, surrounded by organic matter, such as wood chips or alfalfa. Scott Lafee, San Diego Union-Tribune, 8 Nov. 2022 The smell, often described as rotten eggs or a dead animal, comes from bacteria that feed on organic matter in the wastewater. Jeanne Huber, Washington Post, 4 Nov. 2022 Well, for starters, plants are better equipped to handle volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which are highly reactive chemicals found in cleaning supplies, building materials, paints, and the list goes on. Joshua Hawkins, BGR, 12 Nov. 2022 Of all fungi, truffles are among those that emit the highest amount of volatile organic compounds. Federico Kukso, Smithsonian Magazine, 31 Oct. 2022
Noun
The 21-and-older-only tasting event starts at 7 p.m. and features 55 wines – domestic and international, dry and sweet, sparklers, Ports, organic and others. Marc Bona, cleveland, 18 Nov. 2022 Modern organic is the design embodiment of coziness—ideal for autumnal aesthetics. Bryce Jones, Better Homes & Gardens, 28 Sep. 2022 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 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.

Word History

First Known Use

Adjective

1509, in the meaning defined at sense 5

Noun

1840, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of organic was in 1509

Dictionary Entries Near organic

Cite this Entry

“Organic.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/organic. Accessed 5 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition

organic

adjective

or·​gan·​ic
ȯr-ˈgan-ik
1
a
: of, relating to, or arising in a bodily organ
b
: affecting the structure of the living thing
an organic disease
2
a
: of, relating to, or obtained from living things
organic matter
b
: of, relating to, or containing carbon compounds
c
: of, relating to, or dealt with by a branch of chemistry concerned with the carbon compounds of living things and most other carbon compounds
d
: relating to, producing, dealing in, or involving foods produced with the use of feed or fertilizer obtained from plants or animals and without the use of laboratory-made fertilizers, growth substances, antibiotics, or pesticides
organic gardeners
organic food stores
3
a
: forming an important part of a whole : fundamental
b
: having the parts related together
an organic whole
organically
-i-k(ə-)lē
adverb

Medical Definition

organic 1 of 2

adjective

or·​gan·​ic ȯr-ˈgan-ik How to pronounce organic (audio)
1
a
: of, relating to, or arising in a bodily organ
b
: affecting the structure of the organism
an organic disease
compare functional sense 1b
2
a(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
organically adverb
organicity noun
plural organicities

organic

2 of 2

noun

: 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
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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