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[kuh-tal-uh-sis] /kəˈtæl ə sɪs/
noun, plural catalyses
[kuh-tal-uh-seez] /kəˈtæl əˌsiz/ (Show IPA)
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.
Origin of catalysis
1645-55; < New Latin < Greek katálȳsis dissolution, equivalent to katalȳ́(ein) to dissolve (kata- cata- + lȳ́ein to loosen) + -sis -sis
Related forms
[kat-l-it-ik] /ˌkæt lˈɪt ɪk/ (Show IPA),
adjective, noun
catalytical, adjective
catalytically, adverb
anticatalytic, adjective, noun
anticatalytically, adverb
noncatalytic, adjective, noun
noncatalytically, adverb
self-catalysis, noun
semicatalytic, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for catalysis
Historical Examples
  • We call this catalysis, catalytic action, the action of presence, or by what learned name we choose.

    Medical Essays Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.
  • We may look upon this process as a special kind of catalysis.

    The Wonders of Life Ernst Haeckel
  • They've found the secret of catalysis, and can actually synthesize any catalytic agent they want.

    Islands of Space John W Campbell
  • "I think you can rely upon your powers of catalysis, Dorothy," he said.

    The Vanity Girl Compton Mackenzie
  • The phenomenon known as "catalysis" is of common occurrence in both inorganic and organic chemistry.

    The Chemistry of Plant Life Roscoe Wilfred Thatcher
  • We should see the building of crystals, catalysis, and the movements of unstable compounds.

    The Last Harvest John Burroughs
British Dictionary definitions for catalysis


noun (pl) -ses (-ˌsiːz)
acceleration of a chemical reaction by the action of a catalyst
Word Origin
C17: from New Latin, from Greek katalusis, from kataluein to dissolve
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
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Word Origin and History for catalysis

1650s, "dissolution," from Latinized form of Greek katalysis "dissolution, a dissolving" (of governments, military units, etc.), from katalyein "to dissolve," from kata- "down" (or "completely"), see cata-, + lyein "to loosen" (see lose). Chemical sense "change caused by an agent which itself remains unchanged" is attested from 1836, introduced by Swedish chemist Jöns Jakob Berzelius (1779-1848).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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catalysis in Medicine

catalysis ca·tal·y·sis (kə-tāl'ĭ-sĭs)
n. pl. ca·tal·y·ses (-sēz')
The action of a catalyst, especially an increase in the rate of a chemical reaction.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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