Definition of phosphate in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈfäsfāt/


1 Chemistry A salt or ester of phosphoric acid, containing PO43− or a related anion or a group such as —OPO(OH)2.
Example sentences
  • Several formulations are available, and all are based on fertilizers such as urea, ammonium nitrate, ammoniated phosphates, potassium sulfate, potassium nitrate.
  • Phosphoric acid and its phosphate derivatives are essential in human nutrition.
  • It occurs in all kinds of minerals, such as oxides, carbonates, nitrates, sulfates, and phosphates.
2US dated An effervescent soft drink containing phosphoric acid, soda water, and flavoring.
Example sentences
  • When they got them, they left their phosphates, a kind of soft drink, on the table, while they went over to the salad bar and prepared their burgers, fries, and cheese logs as they liked them.
  • Charlie was as sweet as cherry phosphate.


Late 18th century: from French, from phosphore 'phosphorus'.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: phos·phate

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