Let's Compare Inorganic and Organic


Inorganic compounds are of inanimate, not biological origin. Inorganic compounds lack carbon and hydrogen atoms and are synthesized by the agency of geological systems.

inorganic adj 1: relating or belonging to the class of compounds not having a carbon basis; "hydrochloric and sulfuric acids are called inorganic substances" [ant: {organic}] 2: lacking the properties characteristic of living organisms [ant: {organic}]

Inorganic \In`or*gan"ic\, a. [Pref. in- not + organic: cf. F. inorganique.] 1. Not organic; without the organs necessary for life; devoid of an organized structure; unorganized; lifeness; inanimate. [1913 Webster] 2. (Chem.) Of or pertaining to compounds that are not derivatives of hydrocarbons; not organic[5]. [PJC] Note: The term inorganic is used to denote any one the large series of substances (as minerals, metals, etc.), which are not directly connected with vital processes, either in origin or nature, and which are broadly and relatively contrasted with organic substances. See {Organic}[5]. [1913 Webster] {Inorganic Chemistry}. See under {Chemistry}. [1913 Webster]


An organic compound is any member of a large class of gaseous, liquid, or solid chemical compounds whose molecules contain carbon.

organic adj 1: relating or belonging to the class of chemical compounds having a carbon basis; "hydrocarbons are organic compounds" [ant: {inorganic}] 2: of or relating to or derived from living organisms; "organic soil" 3: being or relating to or derived from or having properties characteristic of living organisms; "organic life"; "organic growth"; "organic remains found in rock" [ant: {inorganic}] 4: involving or affecting physiology or bodily organs; "an organic disease" [ant: {functional}] 5: of or relating to foodstuff grown or raised without synthetic fertilizers or pesticides or hormones; "organic eggs"; "organic vegetables"; "organic chicken" 6: simple and healthful and close to nature; "an organic lifestyle" 7: constitutional in the structure of something (especially your physical makeup) [syn: {constituent(a)}, {constitutional}, {constitutive(a)}] n : a fertilizer that is derived from animal or vegetable matter [syn: {organic fertilizer}, {organic fertiliser}]

66 Moby Thesaurus words for "organic": anatomic, animate, architectonic, architectural, atavistic, basic, biological, biotic, bodily, born, breathing, coeval, coherent, congenital, connatal, connate, connatural, consistent, constitutional, constructional, coordinated, edificial, elementary, essential, formal, fundamental, genetic, hereditary, in the blood, inborn, inbred, incarnate, indigenous, ingrained, inherent, inherited, innate, instinctive, instinctual, integral, integrated, living, methodical, morphological, native, native to, natural, natural to, orderly, organismal, organized, physical, physiological, primal, primary, structural, structured, substructural, superstructural, systematic, tectonic, temperamental, textural, visceral, vital, zoetic

integrated \integrated\ adj. 1. Formed or united into a whole. Syn: incorporate, incorporated, merged, unified. [WordNet 1.5] 2. Formed into a whole or introduced into another entity; as, an integrated Europe. Opposite of {nonintegrated}. [Narrower terms: {coordinated}, {interconnected}, {unified}; {embedded}; {incorporated}; {tight-knit}, {tightly knit}] a more closely integrated economic and political system --Dwight D. Eisenhower [WordNet 1.5] 3. Having different groups treated together as equals in one group; as, racially integrated schools. [Narrower terms: {co-ed, coeducational}; {desegrated, nonsegregated, unsegregated}; {interracial}; {mainstreamed}] Also See: {integrative}, {joint}, {united}. Antonym: {segregated}. [WordNet 1.5 +PJC] 4. Resembling a living organism in organization or development. [Narrower terms: {organic} (vs. inorganic)] Syn: structured. [WordNet 1.5] 5. combined. Opposite of {uncombined}. [WordNet 1.5 +PJC] 6. having constituent parts mixed to form a single unit. Opposite of {unmixed}. [Narrower terms: {blended[2]}] Syn: amalgamated, intermingled, mixed. [WordNet 1.5 +PJC]

Organic \Or*gan"ic\, a. [L. organicus, Gr. ?: cf. F. organique.] 1. (Biol.) Of or pertaining to an organ or its functions, or to objects composed of organs; consisting of organs, or containing them; as, the organic structure of animals and plants; exhibiting characters peculiar to living organisms; as, organic bodies, organic life, organic remains. Cf. {Inorganic}. [1913 Webster] 2. Produced by the organs; as, organic pleasure. [R.] [1913 Webster] 3. Instrumental; acting as instruments of nature or of art to a certain destined function or end. [R.] [1913 Webster] Those organic arts which enable men to discourse and write perspicuously. --Milton. [1913 Webster] 4. Forming a whole composed of organs. Hence: Of or pertaining to a system of organs; inherent in, or resulting from, a certain organization; as, an organic government; his love of truth was not inculcated, but organic. [1913 Webster] 5. (Chem.) 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}. Note: Borderline cases exist which may be classified as either organic or inorganic, such as carbon terachloride (which may be viewed as a derivative of methane), but in general a compound must have a carbon with a hydrogen atom or another carbon atom attached to it to be viewed as truly organic, i.e. included in the subject matter of organic chemistry. [1913 Webster +PJC] Note: The principles of organic and inorganic chemistry are identical; but the enormous number and the completeness of related series of organic compounds, together with their remarkable facility of exchange and substitution, offer an illustration of chemical reaction and homology not to be paralleled in inorganic chemistry. [1913 Webster] {Organic analysis} (Chem.), the analysis of organic compounds, concerned chiefly with the determination of carbon as carbon dioxide, hydrogen as water, oxygen as the difference between the sum of the others and 100 per cent, and nitrogen as free nitrogen, ammonia, or nitric oxide; -- formerly called ultimate analysis, in distinction from proximate analysis. {Organic chemistry}. See under {Chemistry}. {Organic compounds}. (Chem.) Chemical substances which are organic[5]. See {Carbon compounds}, under {Carbon}. {Organic description of a curve} (Geom.), the description of a curve on a plane by means of instruments. --Brande & C. {Organic disease} (Med.), a disease attended with morbid changes in the structure of the organs of the body or in the composition of its fluids; -- opposed to {functional disease}. {Organic electricity}. See under {Electricity}. {Organic law} or {Organic laws}, a law or system of laws, or declaration of principles fundamental to the existence and organization of a political or other association; a constitution. {Organic stricture} (Med.), a contraction of one of the natural passages of the body produced by structural changes in its walls, as distinguished from a {spasmodic stricture}, which is due to muscular contraction. [1913 Webster]

Data Sources:

  • inorganic: WordNet (r) 2.0
  • inorganic: The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.44
  • organic: WordNet (r) 2.0
  • organic: Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0
  • organic: The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.44
  • organic: The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.44

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