View synonyms for inorganic


[ in-awr-gan-ik ]


  1. not having the structure or organization characteristic of living bodies.
  2. not characterized by vital processes.
  3. Chemistry. noting or pertaining to compounds that are not hydrocarbons or their derivatives. Compare organic ( def 1 ).
  4. not fundamental or related; extraneous.


/ ˌɪnɔːˈɡænɪk /


  1. not having the structure or characteristics of living organisms; not organic
  2. relating to or denoting chemical compounds that do not contain carbon Compare organic
  3. not having a system, structure, or ordered relation of parts; amorphous
  4. not resulting from or produced by growth; artificial
  5. linguistics denoting or relating to a sound or letter introduced into the pronunciation or spelling of a word at some point in its history
“Collins English Dictionary — Complete & Unabridged” 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012


/ ĭn′ôr-gănĭk /

  1. Not involving organisms or the products of their life processes.
  2. 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 (NH 3 ); a few, such as carbon dioxide (CO 2 ), 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.

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Derived Forms

  • ˌinorˈganically, adverb
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Other Words From

  • inor·gani·cal·ly adverb
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Word History and Origins

Origin of inorganic1

First recorded in 1785–95; in- 3 + organic
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Example Sentences

“We will utilise the IPO proceedings for funding organic and inorganic growth initiatives, and for general corporate purposes,” Zomato’s chief financial officer Akshant Goyal said.

From Quartz

Minerals are “considered to be naturally occurring, inorganic solid substances,” Rossman explains.

Blame is usually attributed to particulate matter — organic and inorganic particles suspended in the air, including pollen, ash and pollutants.

The FDA has set the maximum allowable levels in bottled water at 10 ppb of inorganic arsenic.

It may be only a few more centuries before humans are overtaken or transcended by inorganic intelligence, which will then persist, continuing to evolve on a faster-than-Darwinian timescale for billions of years.

Table showing the quantity of inorganic matters in 100 parts of different plants dried at 212°.

These actions, operating through a long series of years, are the source of the inorganic constituents of all soils.

While the constants of a large number of organic bases194 have been determined few constants of inorganic bases are as yet known.

Such is not always the case, for some bacteria seem to be able to build up protein out of simple inorganic nitrogenous substances.

Mineral matters are inorganic, being chlorides, carbonates or phosphates of calcium, sodium and potassium.





inorg.inorganic chemistry