phthal·​ate ˈtha-ˌlāt How to pronounce phthalate (audio)
: any of various salts or esters of phthalic acid used especially as plasticizers and in solvents

Examples of phthalate in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Vegan and cruelty-free, the formula is free of parabens, mineral oil, sulfates, phthalates, drying alcohols, and synthetic dyes. Rebecca Jones, Southern Living, 19 Feb. 2024 Most plastic wrap available in the US is microwave-safe, as in, these products are free from bisphenol-A or phthalates and designed to handle the heat without melting. Lucas Sin, Bon Appétit, 20 Mar. 2024 But the reactions at work can also burn the scalp, and the broken skin is then vulnerable to other potentially harmful ingredients that these products may contain, such as parabens and phthalates. Syris Valentine, Scientific American, 14 Nov. 2023 Hair type: Best for all hair types 4/19 Best Budget: Head and Shoulders Bare Soothing Hydration Silicone-Free Dandruff Shampoo This product is free of parabens and phthalates–two preservatives that are known to interfere with your endocrine system, Dr. Del Campo explains. Jenny McCoy, Glamour, 4 Mar. 2024 With a mild lemon scent, these masks are cruelty-free and made without parabens, sulfates, or phthalates. Tanya Edwards, Parents, 25 Sep. 2023 While some human studies have found phthalates, one of the most common chemicals used to make plastic, may cause more weight gain during pregnancy and increase a woman’s risk for gestational diabetes, these studies have not yet proven cause and effect. Kaitlin Sullivan, Health, 16 Mar. 2024 Some dermatologists, like Dr. Goldfaden, recommend avoiding the ingredients parabens, phthalates, talc, alcohol, artificial colors, artificial fragrances, and dyes—though not all of these are universally considered harmful. Tanya Edwards, Parents, 15 Mar. 2024 The report identifies 15 such priority groups, which include familiar names such as bisphenols (BPA and its offspring); phthalates; per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS); and parabens (preservatives). Sandee Lamotte, CNN, 14 Mar. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'phthalate.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1863, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of phthalate was in 1863

Dictionary Entries Near phthalate

Cite this Entry

“Phthalate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 May. 2024.

Medical Definition


phthal·​ate ˈthal-ˌāt How to pronounce phthalate (audio)
: a salt or ester of phthalic acid
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