Chemistry. a substance that causes or accelerates a chemical reaction without itself being affected.
something that causes activity between two or more persons or forces without itself being affected.
a person or thing that precipitates an event or change:
His imprisonment by the government served as the catalyst that helped transform social unrest into revolution.
a person whose talk, enthusiasm, or energy causes others to be more friendly, enthusiastic, or energetic.
When an exile lasts little more than a four-day weekend, the end result is even blurrier than its catalyst.
Keith Olbermann Is No Journalist Meghan McCain November 6, 2010
The catalyst for a new plan should be the immediate reform and recapitalization of the banking system—with a clear timeframe.
Stop the Bailout: Four Better Alternatives Alan Quasha March 10, 2009
Using the legislation as a catalyst, Bethel residents voted to become “wet” for the first time in 32 years.
Palin’s Booze Hypocrisy Shushannah Walshe January 12, 2010
This dramatic shift could be the catalyst behind a new era in the news business.
The Upside of the Seattle Paper’s End Larry Kramer March 15, 2009
It might have been the catalyst for what got him into trouble with the school administration.
Jackson Doc’s Drug Dealing Past Gerald Posner July 15, 2009
It plays the part of what is called a “catalyst,” one of the curiosities of chemistry.
The Romance of War Inventions Thomas W. Corbin
You’ll be pleasantly surprised at how this approach will act as a catalyst.
A Practical Guide to Self-Hypnosis Melvin Powers
We may, then, compare the catalyst to what is known as “a good mixer” in society.
Creative Chemistry Edwin E. Slosson
I come back soon and gif you the catalyst for that last reaction.
Beyond the Vanishing Point Raymond King Cummings
We can, if we like, dispense with the bacteria and speed up the process by employing a catalyst.
Creative Chemistry Edwin E. Slosson
a substance that increases the rate of a chemical reaction without itself suffering any permanent chemical change Compare inhibitor (sense 2)
a person or thing that causes a change
“substance which speeds a chemical reaction but itself remains unchanged,” 1902, formed in English (on analogy of analyst) from catalysis. Figurative use by 1943.
catalyst cat·a·lyst (kāt’l-ĭst)
A substance, usually used in small amounts relative to the reactants, that modifies and increases the rate of a reaction without being consumed in the process.
cat’a·lyt’ic (kāt’l-ĭt’ĭk) adj.
A substance that starts or speeds up a chemical reaction while undergoing no permanent change itself. The enzymes in saliva, for example, are catalysts in digestion.
catalytic adjective (kāt’l-ĭt’ĭk)
In chemistry, a substance that causes a chemical reaction to occur but is not itself involved in the reaction.
Note: The term catalyst is often used to refer to the prime agent of any change: “She was the catalyst for the reorganization.”
Chemistry. the causing or accelerating of a chemical change by the addition of a catalyst. an action between two or more persons or forces, initiated by an agent that itself remains unaffected by the action: social catalyses occasioned by controversial writings. Contemporary Examples Communications tools and political platform building workshops could be catalytic. Satellites Correctly […]
an antipollution device in an automotive exhaust system that contains a catalyst for chemically converting some pollutants in the exhaust gases, as carbon monoxide, unburned hydrocarbons, and oxides of nitrogen, into harmless compounds. noun a device using three-way catalysts to reduce the obnoxious and poisonous components of the products of combustion (mainly oxides of nitrogen, […]
the reduction of the molecular weight of hydrocarbons by a catalyst, accomplished in a petroleum refinery by a type of chemical reactor (catalytic cracker) Compare cracker (def 8), cracking (def 1).
Chemistry. the causing or accelerating of a chemical change by the addition of a catalyst. an action between two or more persons or forces, initiated by an agent that itself remains unaffected by the action: social catalyses occasioned by controversial writings. noun (pl) -ses (-ˌsiːz) acceleration of a chemical reaction by the action of a […]