One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Of or relating to animal or plant tissues. Now rare.
2Soil Science. Of a soil or soil horizon: containing a high proportion of organic matter, especially incompletely decomposed organic matter such as peat.
Late 19th century; earliest use found in The New Sydenham Society's Lexicon of Medicine and the Allied Sciences. From ancient Greek ἱστός (woven) web + -ic, in sense 1 after French histique.
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