eth·​e·​phon ˈe-thə-ˌfän How to pronounce ethephon (audio)
: a synthetic plant growth regulator C2H6ClO3P that induces flowering and abscission by promoting the release of ethylene and has been used to cause early ripening (as of apples on the tree)

Word History


ethyl + phosphonic acid (a dibasic organic acid)

First Known Use

1971, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of ethephon was in 1971

Dictionary Entries Near ethephon

Cite this Entry

“Ethephon.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Apr. 2024.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!