verb (used with object), sul·fat·ed, sul·fat·ing.
  1. to combine, treat, or impregnate with sulfuric acid, a sulfate, or sulfates.
  2. to convert into a sulfate.
  3. 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.
  1. 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. 2018

Word Origin and History for sulfation



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

sulfation in Medicine


  1. The addition of sulfate groups as esters to molecules.


  1. A salt or ester of sulfuric acid.
  2. The bivalent group SO4.
  3. A chemical compound containing such a group.
  1. To treat or react with sulfuric acid or a sulfate.
  2. To become sulfated.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

sulfation in Science


  1. 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.