[mass noun] A crystalline organic acid used in making polyester resins and other polymers.
- ‘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.’
- ‘Polyesters were first produced in England in 1941 by condensing ethylene glycol with terephthalic acid.’
Mid 19th century: blend of terebic ‘of or from turpentine’(from terebinth) and phthalic acid.