sul·​fate | \ˈsəl-ˌfāt \

Definition of sulfate 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a salt or ester of sulfuric acid

2 : a divalent group or anion SO4 characteristic of sulfuric acid and the sulfates


sulfated; sulfating

Definition of sulfate (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to treat or combine with sulfuric acid or a sulfate

Examples of sulfate in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The lightweight serum is all-natural and free of parabens, sulfates and fragrances. Olivia Hall, The Seattle Times, "Overstressed? 15 wellness trends to help you relax," 3 July 2018 Around 2010, a public dialogue regarding sulfates (cheap lathering detergents) entered the soap lexicon. Tyler Watamanuk, New York Times, "When Did Soap, Once Simple, Get So Complicated?," 11 July 2018 Ground gall nuts, taken from an oak-like tree, were boiled to draw out tannic acid, which was mixed with iron sulfate scraped from nails. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "The Science of Saving the Declaration of Independence," 3 July 2018 Without gluten, sulfates, or parabens, and packed with aloe and botanicals, these products take to skin beautifully, feel luxurious and nourishing, and look amazing both on your face and on your vanity. Tynan Sinks, Allure, "The Best Natural and Organic Makeup Brands That Makeup Artists Actually Use," 6 June 2018 In a suit filed in U.S. District Court in Charleston, W.Va., on June 21, Terri Russell said she was hospitalized for four days in September 2016 after taking hyoscyamine sulfate and suffering from symptoms diagnosed as an overdose of the drug. Ron Hurtibise,, "More lawsuits filed against South Florida drug maker accused of selling contaminated medicines," 29 June 2018 There is concern lava could trigger the release of deadly hydrogen sulfate gas, reports CBS News' Mark Strassmann. CBS News, "Hawaii volcano lava flows into power plant, sparking fears of deadly gas release," 22 May 2018 Buy Now Tata Harper restorative eye cream Every guy should have his medicine cabinet stocked with a does-it-all eye cream and this all-natural, paraben-free, phthalate-free, and sulfate-free fits the bill. Matt Sebra, GQ, "The 8 Things We're Obsessed with This June," 5 June 2018 That is maybe a little bit because of the phenomenon of global warming, but a great part of it is likely due to the fact that there are fewer sulfate aerosols in the atmosphere now than there were in the 1980s. Denise Chow /, NBC News, "Hurricane season is here. An extreme weather expert explains what's in store.," 3 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The team also found that sulfated anophelins are more effective than hirudin, a blood-thinning molecule derived from the salivary juices of leeches, which is occasionally used in clinical settings. Vanessa Zainzinger, Science | AAAS, "Mosquito spit can bust blood clots in mice," 10 Apr. 2018

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


1788, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1888, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for sulfate


French, from Latin sulfur

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Time Traveler for sulfate

The first known use of sulfate was in 1788

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English Language Learners Definition of sulfate

chemistry : a salt that is formed when sulfuric acid reacts with another chemical element


variants: or chiefly British sulphate \ ˈsəl-​ˌfāt \

Medical Definition of sulfate 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a salt or ester of sulfuric acid

2 : a bivalent group or anion SO4 characteristic of sulfuric acid and the sulfates


transitive verb
variants: or chiefly British sulphate
sulfated or chiefly British sulphated; sulfating or chiefly British sulphating

Medical Definition of sulfate (Entry 2 of 2)

: to treat or combine with sulfuric acid or a sulfate

More from Merriam-Webster on sulfate

Nglish: Translation of sulfate for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about sulfate

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a private place of worship

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