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.


  1. not having the structure or characteristics of living organisms; not organic
  2. relating to or denoting chemical compounds that do not contain carbonCompare organic (def. 4)
  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

1794, “without organized organic structure,” from in- (1) “not, opposite of” + organic. Sense of “not arriving by natural growth” recorded from 1862.


  1. Not formed by or involving organic life or the products of organic life.
  2. Not composed of organic matter.
  3. Of or relating to compounds not containing carbon to hydrogen bonds.

  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 (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.

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