phthal·​ate | \ ˈtha-ˌlāt How to pronounce phthalate (audio) \

Definition of phthalate

: 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

Nordstrom’s natural beauty and wellness department is stocked with beauty products and supplements free of sulfates, phthalates, parabens, petrochemicals, mineral oil, silicone, and talc. Jenna Rosenstein, Harper's BAZAAR, "Where To Shop for Organic and Natural Beauty Products," 12 Aug. 2019 Separately, a March 2019 study found exposure to phthalates and polychlorinated biphenyl — again, two ingredients found in plastics — damaged the quality of sperm exposed to the chemicals. Julia Belluz, Vox, "Sperm counts are falling. This isn’t the reproductive apocalypse — yet.," 30 May 2019 Free of harmful ingredients like sulfates, parabens, phthalates and mineral oil, the COF collection will get your hair back on track. Essence, "4 Steps To Restoring Your Hair After a Protective Style," 3 Sep. 2019 Ingredients such as parabens, silicones, phthalates, and fragrances are typically on this blacklist, and for good reason. Kalia Kornegay,, "As more and more people lean into eco-friendly beauty products, these two female entrepreneurs are leading the charge in Connecticut," 21 Aug. 2019 Then there’s the issue of banning individual phthalates rather than the entire group. National Geographic, "Dollar stores moving to pull dangerous plastics from shelves," 24 May 2019 Formulas are free of parabens, synthetic colors, artificial fragrances, phthalates and other chemicals. Kevin Smothers,, "Designer Norma Kamali unveils her new, inclusive skin-care line," 8 July 2019 While, yes, things aren’t looking good for phthalates, other ingredients are a little more nuanced. Deanna Pai, Bon Appétit, "Why a Good, Clean Haircare Brand Is Hard to Find," 11 June 2019 Specifically, chemicals like BPA, BPS, and phthalates are known to mimic hormones like estrogen, interfere with important hormone pathways in the thyroid gland, and inhibit the effects of testosterone. Julia Belluz, Vox, "Sperm counts are falling. This isn’t the reproductive apocalypse — yet.," 30 May 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'phthalate.' 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 phthalate

1863, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for phthalate

Last Updated

20 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for phthalate

The first known use of phthalate was in 1863

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More Definitions for phthalate


phthal·​ate | \ ˈthal-ˌāt How to pronounce phthalate (audio) \

Medical Definition of phthalate

: a salt or ester of phthalic acid

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