[ awr-gan-ik ]
See synonyms for organic on
  1. noting or pertaining to a class of chemical compounds that formerly comprised only those existing in or derived from plants or animals, but that now includes all other compounds of carbon.

  2. characteristic of, pertaining to, or derived from living organisms: organic remains found in rocks.

  1. of or relating to an organ or the organs of an animal, plant, or fungus.

  2. of, relating to, or affecting living tissue: organic pathology.

  3. Psychology. caused by neurochemical, neuroendocrinologic, structural, or other physical impairment or change: organic disorder.: Compare functional (def. 5).

  4. Philosophy. having an organization similar in its complexity to that of living things.

  5. characterized by the systematic arrangement of parts; organized; systematic: elements fitting together into a unified, organic whole.

  6. of or relating to the basic constitution or structure of a thing; constitutional; structural: The flaws in your writing are too organic to be easily remedied.

  7. developing in a manner analogous to the natural growth and evolution characteristic of living organisms; arising as a natural outgrowth.

  8. viewing or explaining something as having a growth and development analogous to that of living organisms: an organic theory of history.

  9. pertaining to, involving, or grown with fertilizers or pesticides of animal or vegetable origin, as distinguished from manufactured chemicals:organic farming; organic fruits.

  10. Law. of or relating to the constitutional or essential law or laws of organizing the government of a state.

  11. Architecture. noting or pertaining to any work of architecture regarded as analogous to plant or animal forms in having a structure and a plan that fulfill perfectly the functional requirements for the building and that form in themselves an intellectually lucid, integrated whole.

  12. Fine Arts. of or relating to the shapes or forms in a work of art that are of irregular contour and seem to resemble or suggest forms found in nature.

  1. a substance, as a fertilizer or pesticide, of animal or vegetable origin.

Origin of organic

1350–1400; Middle English: pertaining to an organ of the body <Latin organicus by or employing a mechanical device, instrumental <Greek organikós equivalent to órgan(on)organ + -ikos-ic

Other words for organic

Opposites for organic

Other words from organic

  • or·gan·i·cal·ness, or·ga·nic·i·ty [awr-guh-nis-i-tee], /ˌɔr gəˈnɪs ɪ ti/, noun
  • hy·per·or·gan·ic, adjective
  • non·or·gan·ic, adjective
  • pre·or·gan·ic, adjective
  • pseu·do·or·gan·ic, adjective
  • qua·si-or·gan·ic, adjective
  • sem·i·or·gan·ic, adjective
  • sub·or·gan·ic, adjective
  • un·or·gan·ic, adjective

Words Nearby organic Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use organic in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for organic


/ (ɔːˈɡænɪk) /

  1. of, relating to, derived from, or characteristic of living plants and animals

  2. of or relating to animal or plant constituents or products having a carbon basis

  1. of or relating to one or more organs of an animal or plant

  2. of, relating to, or belonging to the class of chemical compounds that are formed from carbon: an organic compound Compare inorganic (def. 2)

  3. constitutional in the structure of something; fundamental; integral

  4. of or characterized by the coordination of integral parts; organized

  5. developing naturally: organic change through positive education

  6. of or relating to the essential constitutional laws regulating the government of a state: organic law

  7. of, relating to, or grown with the use of fertilizers or pesticides deriving from animal or vegetable matter, rather than from chemicals

  1. any substance, such as a fertilizer or pesticide, that is derived from animal or vegetable matter

  2. organic food collectively

Derived forms of organic

  • organically, adverb

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

Scientific definitions for organic


[ ôr-gănĭk ]

  1. Involving organisms or the products of their life processes.

  2. Relating to chemical compounds containing carbon, especially hydrocarbons.

  1. Using or produced with fertilizers or pesticides that are strictly of animal or vegetable origin.

  2. Relating to or affecting organs or an organ of the body. An organic disease is one in which there is a demonstrable abnormality on physical examination, laboratory testing, or other diagnostic studies.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Cultural definitions for organic


In medicine, a descriptive term for things or conditions that have to do with an organ in the body. The term can also refer to something that is derived from living organisms.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.