[awr-gan-uh-siz-uh m]
  1. Philosophy. the view that some systems resemble organisms in having parts that function in relation to the whole to which they belong.Compare holism(def 1).
  2. Pathology. the doctrine that all symptoms arise from organic disease.
  3. a view of society as an autonomous entity analogous to and following the same developmental pattern as a biological organism.

Origin of organicism

First recorded in 1850–55; organic + -ism
Related formsor·gan·i·cis·mal, or·gan·i·cis·tic, adjectiveor·gan·i·cist, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for organicist


  1. the theory that the functioning of living organisms is determined by the working together of all organs as an integrated system
  2. the theory that all symptoms are caused by organic disease
  3. the theory that each organ of the body has its own peculiar constitution
Derived Formsorganicist, noun, adjectiveorganicistic, adjective
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

organicist in Medicine


  1. The theory that all disease is associated with structural alterations of organs.
  2. The theory that the total organization of an organism, rather than the functioning of individual organs, is the principal or exclusive determinant of every life process.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.