follow Dictionary.com

Get the details behind our redesign

catalysis

[kuh-tal-uh-sis] /kəˈtæl ə sɪs/
noun, plural catalyses
[kuh-tal-uh-seez] /kəˈtæl əˌsiz/ (Show IPA)
1.
Chemistry. the causing or accelerating of a chemical change by the addition of a catalyst.
2.
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
1645-1655
1645-55; < Neo-Latin < Greek katálȳsis dissolution, equivalent to katalȳ́(ein) to dissolve (kata- cata- + lȳ́ein to loosen) + -sis -sis
Related forms
catalytic
[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
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
Examples for catalytic
  • The catalytic converter on your exhaust system contains cerium and lanthanum.
  • The work paved the way for technologies such as hydrogen fuel cells and automobile catalytic converters.
  • The modern fuel injection system works with a three-way catalytic converter to cut pollution.
  • Rare earths are used in automotive catalytic converters and for refining petroleum products.
  • Platinum is also an element in catalytic converters.
  • The potential has to be there or the catalytic effect doesn't happen.
  • Once they had had their catalytic effect, they would have split back off again and gone their own ways.
  • And its catalytic converter largely eliminates smog-forming nitrogen oxides.
  • Nor do they cut catalytic converters from cars parked on the street for easy money.
  • The catalytic oxidation process can also work against water-borne pathogens.
British Dictionary definitions for catalytic

catalytic

/ˌkætəˈlɪtɪk/
adjective
1.
of or relating to catalysis; involving a catalyst
Derived Forms
catalytically, adverb

catalysis

/kəˈtælɪsɪs/
noun (pl) -ses (-ˌsiːz)
1.
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for catalytic
catalysis
1655, "dissolution," from Gk. katalysis "dissolution," from katalyein "to dissolve," from kata- "down" + lyein "to loosen" (see lose). Chemical sense is attested from 1836.
catalytic
from Gk. katalytikos "able to dissolve," from katalysis (see catalysis).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
catalytic 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.
Cite This Source
catalytic in Science
catalyst
  (kāt'l-ĭst)   
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)
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source

Word of The Day

Difficulty index for catalysis

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for catalytic

16
18
Scrabble Words With Friends