from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Of, relating to, or derived from living organisms: organic matter.
  • adj. Of, relating to, or affecting a bodily organ: an organic disease.
  • adj. Of, marked by, or involving the use of fertilizers or pesticides that are strictly of animal or vegetable origin: organic vegetables; an organic farm.
  • adj. Raised or conducted without the use of drugs, hormones, or synthetic chemicals: organic chicken; organic cattle farming.
  • adj. Serving organic food: an organic restaurant.
  • adj. Simple, healthful, and close to nature: an organic lifestyle.
  • adj. Having properties associated with living organisms.
  • adj. Resembling a living organism in organization or development; interconnected: society as an organic whole.
  • adj. Constituting an integral part of a whole; fundamental.
  • adj. Law Denoting or relating to the fundamental or constitutional laws and precepts of a government or an organization.
  • adj. Chemistry Of or designating carbon compounds.
  • n. A substance, especially a fertilizer or pesticide, of animal or vegetable origin.
  • n. Chemistry An organic compound.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. pertaining to or derived from living organisms.
  • adj. pertaining to an organ of the body of a living organism.
  • adj. relating to the compounds of carbon, relating to natural products
  • adj. of food or food products, grown in an environment free from artificial agrichemicals, and possibly certified by a regulatory body.
  • adj. describing a form of social solidarity theorized by Emile Durkheim that is characterized by voluntary engagements in complex interdepencies for mutual benefit (such as business agreements), rather than mechanical solidarity, which depends on ascribed relations between people (as in a family or tribe).
  • adj. Of a military unit or formation, or its elements, belonging to a permanent organization (in contrast to being temporarily attached).
  • adj. Generated according to the ranking algorithms of a search engine, as opposed to paid placement by advertisers.
  • n. An organic compound

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Of or pertaining to an organ or its functions, or to objects composed of organs; consisting of organs, or containing them; ; exhibiting characters peculiar to living organisms. Cf. inorganic.
  • adj. Produced by the organs.
  • adj. Instrumental; acting as instruments of nature or of art to a certain destined function or end.
  • adj. Forming a whole composed of organs.
  • adj. Of or pertaining to compounds which are derivatives of hydrocarbons; pertaining to, or denoting, any one of a large series of carbon-containing compounds which are related to the carbon compounds produced by biological processes (such as methane, oils, fats, sugars, alcohols, ethers, proteins, etc.) and include many substances of artificial production which may or may not occur in animals or plants; -- contrasted with inorganic.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Acting as an instrument, of nature or art, to a certain end; serving as an organ or means; instrumental.
  • Pertaining to or characteristic of an organ or the organs of animals and plants.
  • Pertaining to objects that have organs; hence, pertaining to the animal and vegetable worlds; resulting from, or exhibiting characteristics peculiar to, animal or vegetable life and structure; organized. See inorganic.
  • In chem., formerly used in the same sense as 3 (see also quotation under 3), but at present denoting any compound substance or radical containing carbon. See chemistry and inorganic.
  • Forming a whole with a systematic arrangement or coördination of parts; organized; also, systematized; systematic.
  • In philology, depending on or determined by structure; not secondary or fortuitous.
  • Organizing; constituting; formative; constitutive.
  • In music, noting a composition in harmony or intended for instruments.
  • n. The science of the instruments of thought, such as induction, syllogism, and the like.
  • Applied to the substances which form the chemical material of the bodies of plants and animals, as also to numerous other substances of more or less analogous chemical character. But such material may or may not possess the special mechanical structure to which the term organized is applied, adapting it to the performance of the vital functions of plants or animals. The distinction between the two words is important. Organic substances may be produced from inanimate materials by laboratory processes, but organized structnre is thus far only known as a result of change in a living plant or animal.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. involving or affecting physiology or bodily organs
  • adj. of or relating to foodstuff grown or raised without synthetic fertilizers or pesticides or hormones
  • n. a fertilizer that is derived from animal or vegetable matter
  • adj. relating or belonging to the class of chemical compounds having a carbon basis
  • adj. simple and healthful and close to nature
  • adj. constitutional in the structure of something (especially your physical makeup)
  • adj. being or relating to or derived from or having properties characteristic of living organisms


Sorry, no etymologies found.



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  • Conversation with my flatmate.

    P: You know, organic food in Italy is called "biological".

    N: Biological? It's meaningless. All food is biological.

    P: Well, do you think that non-organic food exists?

    N: But then, how should we call it?

    P: ... Expensive?

    April 28, 2008