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1. The concept that society or the universe is analogous to a biological organism, as in development or organization.
2. The doctrine that the total organization of an organism, rather than the functioning of individual organs, is the principal or exclusive determinant of every life process.
3. The theory that all disease is associated with structural alterations of organs.

or·gan′i·cist n.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


1. (Biology) the theory that the functioning of living organisms is determined by the working together of all organs as an integrated system
2. (Medicine) the theory that all symptoms are caused by organic disease
3. (Medicine) the theory that each organ of the body has its own peculiar constitution
orˈganicist n, adj
orˌganiˈcistic adj
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ɔrˈgæn əˌsɪz əm)

1. Philos. the view that some systems resemble organisms in having parts that function in relation to the whole to which they belong. Cf. holism.
2. Pathol. the doctrine that all symptoms arise from organic disease.
3. a view of society as an autonomous entity analogous to and following the same developmental pattern as a biological organism.
[1850–55; organic + -ism]
or•gan`i•cis′mal, or•gan`i•cis′tic, adj.
or•gan′i•cist, n.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.


1. the theory that all symptoms are due to organic disease.
2. the theory that each of the organs of the body has its own special constitution. — organicist, n. — organicistic, adj.
See also: Medical Specialties
the theory that vital activities stem not from any single part of an organism but from its autonomous composition. Cf. holism, mechanism, vitalism.organicist, n.organicistic, adj.
See also: Philosophy
-Ologies & -Isms. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.organicism - theory that the total organization of an organism rather than the functioning of individual organs is the determinant of life processes
scientific theory - a theory that explains scientific observations; "scientific theories must be falsifiable"
holism, holistic theory - the theory that the parts of any whole cannot exist and cannot be understood except in their relation to the whole; "holism holds that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts"; "holistic theory has been applied to ecology and language and mental states"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
Architects are accustomed to identify organicism with anti-classical tendencies that emerged in the nineteenth century and flowered in the work of Wright and others in the twentieth.
Colon's "Glo-Pods," 2013-, irregularly shaped wall-mounted acrylic orbs, recall the languid organicism of Craig Kauffman's candy-colored bubbles; their intimation of light emanating from within the impossibly smooth contours additionally channels Helen Pashgian's illuminated monoliths.
David Fairer's Orsanising Poetry complements a sizeable body of scholarship in this vein, including Charles Armstrong's Romantic Organicism: From Idealist Origins to Ambivalent Afterlife (Palgrave, 2003); Idealism without Absolutes: Philosophy and Romantic Culture, edited by Tilottama Rajah and Arkady Plotnitsky (SUNY Albany, 2004); and Life: Organic Form and Romanticism (Yale, 2009) by Denise Gigante, whose turn to life science engages organicism in a fresh way.
Chantler's third chapter, "Hoffmann's Musical Hermeneutics Revisited," takes up the issue of musical organicism in light of Ian Bent's earlier work on the topic ("Plato--Beethoven: A Hermeneutics for Nineteenth-Century Music," in Music Theory in the Age of Romanticism, ed.
Kelsall points out conflicting commitments within Romantic-period historical writings: Rousseauism, progressivism such as Adam Smith's, Hume's conservatism, Burke's organicism, Herder's multiracialism, and he writes that 'these oppositional generalizations merely indicate the limitations of any overarching contextual generalizations, whether shaped in terms of an historicist "Romantic ideology" or a modernist "post-colonial theory"' (p.
What is especially instructive, nevertheless, is the lucid distinction that Van den Toorn offers between Schenker's organicism (and its nineteenth-century background) and the narrative strategies evinced by the 'new musicology'.
As Bullen analyzes it, The Stones of Venice employs Romantic premises about organicism and imagination to characterize the Renaissance and its art as repressive, lifeless, and unimaginative; Ruskin saw it, Bullen feels, as a sinister "impersonal natural force" that killed medieval vitality.
Gallery Seomi introduces contemporary design works that reflect the new constructionism and organicism of Korea.
I'm sure I've missed some of the ideological heresies Morton consequently banishes, but in 135 pages he excommunicates localism, holism, atomism, organicism, Puritanism (by which he means any discussion of limits to human consumption), masculinity, cuteness, nostalgia, wilderness preservation, deep ecology, Gaian geophysiology, community, sincerity, individualism, post-humanism, consequentialism, neoliberalism, capitalism, authority, harmony, biopower and sustainability.
Meyer as metaphorical mappings of contrapuntal texture and melodic pattern, respectively, and therefore of continuity and discontinuity, or organicism and pragmatism.
In this volume we have gathered together and reordered individual items, proceeding from his preface through essays on such general principles as organicism, idea, coherence, and comprehensibility, to the core of his theory of musical form, finally culminating in the essay "The Constructive Function of Harmony".' The text is presented as faithfully as possible, with appropriate imitation of such features as marginalia, arrows, erasures and variations in handwriting size wherever the layout of the original page reflects thought processes.
Their work was typically a curiously manneristic amalgam of organicism, geometry, and Op illusion--a sort of abstract uncanny.