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terephthalic acid Line breaks: ter¦eph|thal¦ic acid
Pronunciation: /ˌtɛrəfˈθalɪk/

Definition of terephthalic acid in English:


[mass noun] Chemistry
A crystalline organic acid used in making polyester resins and other polymers.
Example sentences
  • Polyesters were first produced in England in 1941 by condensing ethylene glycol with terephthalic acid.
  • John R. Whinfield and J. Dickson continued Carother's research and made a polyester with terephthalic acid in 1941.
  • Chen still plans to take back a leading role any time, including at Tuntex Petrochemicals Inc, which is a major manufacturer of purified terephthalic acid that has started to turn profitable.


Mid 19th century: blend of terebic 'of or from turpentine' (from terebinth) and phthalic acid.

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