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Organic compound

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noun, plural: organic compounds

Any compound containing carbon atom.


An organic compound always contains carbon. A few exceptions are carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, carbonates, cyanides, cyanates, carbides, and thyocyanates, which are considered inorganic.

Examples of organic compounds are carbohydrates, lipids, proteins and nucleic acids.

Word origin: named after the early notion that organic compounds could only be synthesized in living organisms through vis-vitalis (a life-force).

Compare: inorganic compound