Definition of phosphate in English:

Share this entry


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'.

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.