phosphate

noun
phos·​phate | \ ˈfäs-ˌfāt How to pronounce phosphate (audio) \

Definition of phosphate

1a(1) : a salt or ester of a phosphoric acid
(2) : the trivalent anion PO43− derived from phosphoric acid H3PO4
b : an organic compound of phosphoric acid in which the acid group is bound to nitrogen or a carboxyl group in a way that permits useful energy to be released (as in metabolism)
2 : an effervescent drink of carbonated water with a small amount of phosphoric acid flavored with fruit syrup
3 : a phosphatic material used for fertilizers

Examples of phosphate in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Adding or removing the phosphate acts as a biological switch, turning a variety of key cellular events on or off. BostonGlobe.com, 3 Sep. 2021 Adding or removing the phosphate acts as a biological switch, turning a variety of key cellular events on or off. New York Times, 2 Sep. 2021 Last year, for instance, a state water agency gave Mosaic, a large phosphate company, authority to pump 70 million gallons of water a day for the next 20 years out of a region whose residents have been under water restrictions. Stephanie Hanes, The Christian Science Monitor, 20 Aug. 2021 Most are natural baits of iron phosphate and of low toxicity. Tom Maccubbin, orlandosentinel.com, 17 July 2021 Calcium phosphate is critical for bone formation and maintenance, and mineralization is when organic compounds are converted into inorganic compounds during decomposition processes. Kristen Rogers, CNN, 2 July 2021 When consumers complained about the taste, the company allegedly added a phosphate mix to the water that caused housing pipes to degrade, releasing lead, according to the lawsuit filed with the Will County Circuit Court. NBC News, 18 June 2021 Last year, Tesla pledged to use lithium-iron-phosphate batteries, which do not contain cobalt, in some of its electric cars. Nicolas Niarchos, The New Yorker, 24 May 2021 There is no scientific evidence that roses need high levels of phosphate. Rita Perwich, San Diego Union-Tribune, 1 May 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'phosphate.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of phosphate

1788, in the meaning defined at sense 1a(1)

History and Etymology for phosphate

French, from acide phosphorique phosphoric acid

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Time Traveler for phosphate

Time Traveler

The first known use of phosphate was in 1788

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Dictionary Entries Near phosphate

phosphatase

phosphate

phosphated flour

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Statistics for phosphate

Last Updated

8 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Phosphate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/phosphate. Accessed 16 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for phosphate

phosphate

noun

English Language Learners Definition of phosphate

: a salt or compound that has phosphorus in it and that is used especially in products (called fertilizers) that help plants grow

phosphate

noun
phos·​phate | \ ˈfäs-ˌfāt How to pronounce phosphate (audio) \

Medical Definition of phosphate

1a : a salt or ester of a phosphoric acid
b : the trivalent anion PO43− derived from phosphoric acid H3PO4
2 : an organic compound of phosphoric acid in which the acid group is bound to nitrogen or a carboxyl group in a way that permits useful energy to be released (as in metabolism)

More from Merriam-Webster on phosphate

Nglish: Translation of phosphate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of phosphate for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about phosphate

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