tere·​phthal·​ate | \ ˌter-ə(f)-ˈtha-ˌlāt How to pronounce terephthalate (audio) \

Definition of terephthalate

: a salt or ester of terephthalic acid especially : a dimethyl-ester that is a major starting material for polyester fibers and coatings

Examples of terephthalate in a Sentence

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These are made with a plastic called polyethylene terephthalate, or PET, which consists of a bunch of very small fibers woven together. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "Future 'Plastic' Could Be Made From Trees and Crab Shells," 1 Aug. 2018 The most common type was polypropylene, the plastic found in bottle caps, followed by polyethylene terephthalate (PET), the plastic found in the bottles themselves. Cathleen O'grady, Ars Technica, "Plastic found in the poop of eight people from eight different countries," 24 Oct. 2018 The discovery could oneday result in a recycling solution that can process millions of tonnes of plastic, made from polyethylene terephthalate (also known as PET), which currently persists in the environment for hundreds of years. National Geographic, "Enzyme That Eats Plastic Accidentally Found in Lab," 20 Apr. 2018 Near-impossible standards In past months, China has banned 24 kinds of solid waste, including unsorted paper, certain textile materials and low-grade polyethylene terephthalate often used in plastic bottles. Megan Janetsky, azcentral, "Some of your recyclables may be going to landfills," 4 July 2018 Polyethylene terephthalate is a strong but lightweight plastic. Julissa Treviño, Smithsonian, "This “Mutant Enzyme” Breaks Down Plastic," 26 Apr. 2018 In 2016, after spending five years searching through piles of waste, Japanese researchers discovered a strain of bacteria that naturally evolved to eat away at polyethylene terephthalate, the common plastic known as PET or polyester. Julissa Treviño, Smithsonian, "This “Mutant Enzyme” Breaks Down Plastic," 26 Apr. 2018 One group of researchers may have accidentally found a better way, developing an enzyme that can break down polyethylene terephthalate (PET), the type of plastic used in water and soda bottles. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "Researchers Accidentally Find Enzyme to Break Down Plastic," 17 Apr. 2018 A couple years back, scientists discovered bacteria at a Japanese recycling plant that were breaking down a common type of plastic known as polyethylene terephthalate, or PET. David Meyer, Fortune, "Scientists Accidentally Created a 'Mutant Enzyme' That Could Solve The World's Plastic Nightmare," 17 Apr. 2018

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

1868, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of terephthalate was in 1868

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