sul·​fate | \ ˈsəl-ˌfāt How to pronounce sulfate (audio) \

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 That Senate bill is SB 381, which would specifically authorize doctors to prescribe off-label and unproven COVID-19 treatments—namely hydroxychloroquine sulfate and ivermectin. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, 8 Feb. 2022 This entry represents a safe and never-failing option for anyone who is looking for a fragrance-free, paraben-free, sulfate-free, and non-comedogenic body wash. Grooming Playbook, The Salt Lake Tribune, 12 Apr. 2022 Balance and restore your skin with this paraben- and sulfate-free remedy, a top choice for oily and sensitive skin. Grooming Playbook, The Salt Lake Tribune, 7 Apr. 2022 However, Li speculates that it could be related to glucosamine sulfate’s anti-inflammation properties. Amby Burfoot, Outside Online, 17 July 2019 Fluffy G is created in the United States and is ammonia-free, sulfate-free, paraben-free, PPD-free, gluten-free, cruelty-free, vegan, and infused with chamomile, lavender, ginseng, and aloe. Essence, 17 Feb. 2022 Battery-grade cobalt prices are up 119% from Jan. 1, 2020, through mid-January 2022, nickel sulfate gained 55% and lithium carbonate rose 569%, according to Benchmark. Scott Patterson, WSJ, 5 Feb. 2022 The material, a sulfate-containing compound called alum, won’t incorporate into the glass. Carolyn Wilke, Smithsonian Magazine, 24 Nov. 2021 In a study published in the journal Communications Earth & Environment, scientists reconstructed the magnitude of 156 explosive volcanic eruptions from 1 A.D. to 1915 by examining elevated sulfate levels in ice cores from Greenland and Antarctica. David Bressan, Forbes, 14 Nov. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb This alcohol, paraben, and sulfate-free formula can really make an impact. Grooming Playbook, The Salt Lake Tribune, 10 May 2022 Playa’s hair treatment restores moisture using coconut, apricot, and sunflower oil and is sulfate, paraben, and formaldehyde-free. ELLE, 13 Apr. 2022 L'Oreal has an entire line dedicated to sulfate-free hair products, including this dandruff shampoo that won't sacrifice your color. Anthea Levi,, 24 Sep. 2021 Their formulations are vegan, sulfate and Paraben-free. Bianca Salonga, Forbes, 7 July 2021 Eco-conscious mothers will be pleased to know that an abundant number of fragrances now are free of synthetics parabens phthalates and sulfate. Joseph Deacetis, Forbes, 20 Apr. 2021 Look for alcohol- and sulfate-free formulas that contain emollients like olive oil, shea butter and avocado oil. Joseph Deacetis, Forbes, 28 Dec. 2021 In addition to Morosi’s signature cocktails, Sciò stocked the bar with Ampeleia, a biodynamic, sulfate-free wine cultivated in the Maremma region of Tuscany. New York Times, 17 Nov. 2021 Each product is safe for all ages and is cruelty free, paraben free, sulfate free, silicone free, and gluten free. Jenna Rosenstein, Harper's BAZAAR, 27 Sep. 2021 See More

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.

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

Time Traveler

The first known use of sulfate was in 1788

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Dictionary Entries Near sulfate



sulfated oil

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Statistics for sulfate

Last Updated

18 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Sulfate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for sulfate


variants: or chiefly British sulphate \ ˈsəl-​ˌfāt How to pronounce sulfate (audio) \

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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