Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
- Not produced or derived by means of living organisms or their processes. [Late 19th century.]
- This term is intended to include materials derived from petroleum, coal, or sediments such as limestone. Although these materials derive from biological sources and have biochemical content, the chemical processes that produce these materials from dead organisms are purely physical. The role of man, also a living organism, is not counted, since the chemical processes used by man are external chemical reactions and not internal biochemical reactions.