[OED:] 6. e. Characterized by continuous or natural development;
(Business) designating expansion generated by a company's own resources, as opposed to that resulting from the acquisition of other companies.

Neither Etymonline nor OED explain the etymology for this newer definition, whose first example sentence is dated 1923.

Please expose and explain all (hidden and missing) semantic drifts and links. What bridges the jumps with the original meaning?
From which older definition of 'organic' does this newer one derives? An organ may develop in size, but NOT in function as the definition above presupposes.
(eg: A bladder doesn't simply develop into a gallbladder).


I don't see much mystery here. The Greek word organon means a tool or something to perform a function. This became the name for the various bodily organs that perform the various functions of life. Their interconnection is called "organization," and their development within the body is "organic," that is, flowing naturally from the internal organization of the body. 6e is simply a metaphorical application of this to a business organization.

For what it's worth, all normal human gall bladders develop from a simple embryonic bladder called the cystic diverticulum.

  • +!. Thanks, but does your answer only explain the (Business) definition above? The general definition is Characterized by continuous or natural development, but bodily organs do not continuously develop. – Greek - Area 51 Proposal Jun 22 '15 at 2:28
  • 1
    Bodily organs do indeed develop continuously (or perhaps "gradually" is a better word) from an unformed embryonic state to full adult functionality. I'm talking the prenatal development of an individual, but the same description applies to evolutionary development. – deadrat Jun 22 '15 at 2:38
  • +1. Many thanks. Please feel free to integrate your comment into your answer, or write more. – Greek - Area 51 Proposal Jun 22 '15 at 2:43

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