[ suhl-feyt ]
/ ˈsʌl feɪt /


Chemistry. a salt or ester of sulfuric acid.

verb (used with object), sul·fat·ed, sul·fat·ing.

to combine, treat, or impregnate with sulfuric acid, a sulfate, or sulfates.
to convert into a sulfate.
Electricity. to form a deposit of lead-sulfate compound on (the lead electrodes of a storage battery).

verb (used without object), sul·fat·ed, sul·fat·ing.

to become sulfated.

Origin of sulfate

From the New Latin word sulphātum, dating back to 1780–90. See sulfur, -ate2
Related formssul·fa·tion, nounsu·per·sul·fate, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for sulfate

Word Origin and History for sulfate



1790 (sulphat), from French sulphate (1787), from Modern Latin sulphatum acidum, from Latin sulpur, sulphur (see sulfur) + chemical ending -ate (3). The spelling with -ph- is standard in Britain.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for sulfate


[ sŭlfāt′ ]


A salt or ester of sulfuric acid.
The bivalent group SO4.
A chemical compound containing such a group.


To treat or react with sulfuric acid or a sulfate.
To become sulfated.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Science definitions for sulfate


[ sŭlfāt′ ]

A salt or ester of sulfuric acid, containing the group SO4.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.