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Chemistry LibreTexts


Just what is organic? The term "organic" often conjures up the image of life; something very separate from inanimate or not possessing any traits commonly attributed to being alive. That is, when something is alive and it therefore is organic. In the supermarket, we are used to seeing the "organic" label to designate something special, something more connected to nature. However, the term organic in chemistry has a very specific definition involving chemicals and chemistry that involves carbon. As discussed below, there a strong diversity of chemistry associated with organic compounds.