Definition of phosphate
1a (1) : a salt or ester of a phosphoric acid (2) : the trivalent anion PO43− derived from phosphoric acid H3PO4b : 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
Recent Examples of phosphate from the Web
When these pests are too numerous, try a natural snail and slug bait containing iron phosphate found at garden centers.
The government and its allies have restored government control over mineral and oil resources, including the phosphate mines in Khneifes, once controlled by IS.
Nitrogen, phosphate (phosphorus) and potash (potassium) in that order are represented by the three numbers on a fertilizer's label (called the analysis), which indicates the percentage of those nutrients contained in the fertilizer.
The government and its allies have now secured the phosphate mines in Khneifes, once controlled by the Islamic State group.
The bike’s made out of a carbon fiber chassis that enables lightweight maneuverability and the electric set-up includes six lithium-phosphate batteries.
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.
Origin and Etymology of phosphate
French, from acide phosphorique phosphoric acid
First Known Use: 1788
PHOSPHATE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of phosphate for English Language Learners
chemistry : a salt or compound that has phosphorus in it and that is used especially in products (called fertilizers) that help plants grow
Medical Definition of phosphate
Seen and Heard
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