phy·​to·​es·​tro·​gen | \ ˌfī-tō-ˈe-strə-jən How to pronounce phytoestrogen (audio) \

Definition of phytoestrogen

: a chemical compound (such as genistein) that occurs naturally in plants and has estrogenic properties

Examples of phytoestrogen in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Lower Blood Pressure Pumpkin seed oil is full of phytoestrogens, which research shows are beneficial for preventing hypertension. Dailyburn,, "6 Surprising Health Benefits of Pumpkin," 8 Oct. 2014 Radiation exposure and substances that act like estrogen, such as synthetic estrogens and phytoestrogens, are two things that can damage breast cancer cells and cause breast cancer. Ladan Nikravan Hayes,, "‘Let’s Talk’: These traits increase the risk of developing breast cancer," 26 June 2019 High in phytoestrogens, a tea of the plant’s leaves and flowers is used to control hot flashes, breast tenderness, and other symptoms of menopause. Molly Marquand, Good Housekeeping, "8 Weeds You Should Actually Let Grow In Your Yard," 28 July 2016 However, because there's some evidence that phytoestrogens can have the opposite effect on breast cancer, go easy on it. The Editors Of Organic Life, Good Housekeeping, "8 Backyard Weeds You Can Actually Eat," 3 Apr. 2017 The idea that plant hormones—such as genistein, the primary phytoestrogen in soy—can interfere with mammalian development is not new. Deborah Blum, Slate Magazine, "Are We Experimenting on Our Children With Soy Formula?," 3 Aug. 2017 Research shows that soy milk and soy formula contain up to 4,500 times the level of phytoestrogens found in cow’s milk or breast milk. Deborah Blum, Slate Magazine, "Are We Experimenting on Our Children With Soy Formula?," 3 Aug. 2017 With her background in the beauty industry, Cecil Booth was able to work with some of the top scientists in the field to formulate the phytoestrogen combination that would result in the greatest benefit for your skin. Kirby Adams, The Courier-Journal, "Louisville sisters turn back the clock with line of anti-aging products," 18 Aug. 2017

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

See More

First Known Use of phytoestrogen

1964, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for phytoestrogen

borrowed from German Phytoöstrogen, from phyto- phyto- + Östrogen estrogen

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about phytoestrogen

Time Traveler for phytoestrogen

Time Traveler

The first known use of phytoestrogen was in 1964

See more words from the same year

Statistics for phytoestrogen

Cite this Entry

“Phytoestrogen.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Jul. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for phytoestrogen


phy·​to·​es·​tro·​gen | \ -ˈes-trə-jən How to pronounce phytoestrogen (audio) \
variants: or chiefly British phyto-oestrogen

Medical Definition of phytoestrogen

: a chemical compound (as genistein) that occurs naturally in plants and has estrogenic properties

Comments on phytoestrogen

What made you want to look up phytoestrogen? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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