Organic compounds
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]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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  • 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;… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Organic analysis — 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;… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Organic chemistry — 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;… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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