"You canker blossom!" 3 Shakespearean Insults


[fos-feyt] /ˈfɒs feɪt/
  1. (loosely) a salt or ester of phosphoric acid.
  2. a tertiary salt of orthophosphoric acid, as sodium phosphate.
Agriculture. a fertilizing material containing compounds of phosphorus.
a carbonated drink of water and fruit syrup containing a little phosphoric acid.
Origin of phosphate
1785-95; phosph- + -ate2
Related forms
subphosphate, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for phosphate
  • For example, some scientists have fretted over the world's limited supplies of rock phosphate, which is used in agriculture.
  • To make the droplets stable, phosphate is added to the emulsion.
  • It may be light, or a familiar nutrient such as nitrate or phosphate.
  • They heated it, added oxygen and calcium, then applied more heat and a phosphate solution.
  • They used acetic acid to dissolve the limestone, which leaves behind a residue of fossils preserved by calcium phosphate minerals.
  • Even the animals' soft tissues, cast in calcium phosphate, are clearly defined.
  • The authors state that calcium carbonate-phosphate mixtures are rather sticky.
  • No doubt, he said, you think you can make good the loss with phosphate rocks.
  • When a current runs through an electrode, phosphate and cobalt in the water form a thin film on that electrode.
  • Lithium phosphate or polymer is the best one can get for now.
British Dictionary definitions for phosphate


any salt or ester of any phosphoric acid, esp a salt of orthophosphoric acid
(often pl) any of several chemical fertilizers containing phosphorous compounds
Derived Forms
phosphatic (fɒsˈfætɪk) adjective
Word Origin
C18: from French phosphat; see phosphorus,-ate1
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for phosphate

a salt of phosphoric acid, 1795, from French phosphate (1787), from phosphore (see phosphorus) + -ate (3).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
phosphate in Medicine

phosphate phos·phate (fŏs'fāt')
A salt or an ester of phosphoric acid. adj.
Containing the trivalent radical PO4.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source
phosphate in Science
A salt or ester of phosphoric acid, containing the group PO4. Phosphates are important in metabolism and are frequently used in fertilizers.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for phosphate

Most English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for phosphate

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for phosphate