- not having the structure or organization characteristic of living bodies.
- not characterized by vital processes.
- Chemistry. noting or pertaining to compounds that are not hydrocarbons or their derivatives.Compare organic(def 1).
- not fundamental or related; extraneous.
Origin of inorganic
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for inorganic
Perhaps all the elements may be the outcome of an inorganic evolution.The Outline of Science, Vol. 1 (of 4)
J. Arthur Thomson
The thigh-bone, of all the bones, contains most inorganic matter.Manures and the principles of manuring
Charles Morton Aikman
Natural phenomena, the forces of the organic and inorganic worlds.Essay on the Creative Imagination
The natural world is to the Spiritual as the inorganic to the organic.
The plant is made of materials which have once been inorganic.
- not having the structure or characteristics of living organisms; not organic
- relating to or denoting chemical compounds that do not contain carbonCompare organic (def. 4)
- not having a system, structure, or ordered relation of parts; amorphous
- not resulting from or produced by growth; artificial
- linguistics denoting or relating to a sound or letter introduced into the pronunciation or spelling of a word at some point in its history
Word Origin and History for inorganic
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
- Not formed by or involving organic life or the products of organic life.
- Not composed of organic matter.
- Of or relating to compounds not containing carbon to hydrogen bonds.
- Not involving organisms or the products of their life processes.
- Relating to chemical compounds that occur mainly outside of living or once living organisms, such as those in rocks, minerals, and ceramics. Most inorganic compounds lack carbon, such as salt (NaCl) and ammonia (NH3); a few, such as carbon dioxide (CO2), do contain it, but never attached to hydrogen atoms as in hydrocarbons. Inorganic molecules tend to have a relatively small number of atoms as compared with organic molecules.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.