phy·​to·​es·​tro·​gen ˌfī-tō-ˈe-strə-jən How to pronounce phytoestrogen (audio)
: 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 There are also debates about the safety of phytoestrogens in soy milk and synthetic hormones (rBGH or rBST) in cow’s milk. Stephanie Brown, Verywell Health, 24 Oct. 2023 As well as helping compensate for declining oestrogen, phytoestrogens also contain antioxidants which help fight cell damage linked to chronic diseases. Georgia Day, Vogue, 6 Sep. 2023 Tiwa Savage’s Guide to Treating Hyperpigmentation and Day-to-Night Makeup One of the richest sources of lignans, a potent phytoestrogen, is flaxseed, which can easily be sprinkled into smoothies, soups or on top of cereal and yogurt. Georgia Day, Vogue, 6 Sep. 2023 One social media theory is that because bee pollen contains what’s known as phytoestrogens, these can bind to the estrogen receptors in the breast tissues, stimulating growth. Kylie Gilbert, Glamour, 16 Aug. 2023 Each bottle contains 130mg of horny goat weed extract with a natural assortment of active phytoestrogens. Amber Smith, Discover Magazine, 18 Mar. 2023 While almond milk does contain phytoestrogen, the compound has little impact on the body compared to naturally produced estrogen. Tyler Jett, USA TODAY, 3 Dec. 2020 Pea protein's phytoestrogen content is not likely to have any effect on hormone levels in adults. Amber Smith, Discover Magazine, 30 May 2022 Red clover’s effectiveness for menopause symptoms is probably due to its isoflavones, which act as a phytoestrogen (much like soy). Dr. Suzanne Gilberg-Lenz, Fortune, 18 Oct. 2022 See More

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

Word History


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

First Known Use

1964, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of phytoestrogen was in 1964

Dictionary Entries Near phytoestrogen

Cite this Entry

“Phytoestrogen.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Nov. 2023.

Medical Definition


phy·​to·​es·​tro·​gen -ˈes-trə-jən How to pronounce phytoestrogen (audio)
variants or chiefly British phyto-oestrogen
: a chemical compound (as genistein) that occurs naturally in plants and has estrogenic properties
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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