au·​to·​ca·​tal·​y·​sis ˌȯ-tō-kə-ˈta-lə-səs How to pronounce autocatalysis (audio)
plural autocatalyses ˌȯ-tō-kə-ˈta-lə-ˌsēz How to pronounce autocatalysis (audio)
: catalysis of a reaction by one of its products
autocatalytic adjective
autocatalytically adverb

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web But no more grand than others triggered by autocatalysis over the past couple of centuries. IEEE Spectrum, 8 Mar. 2023

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'autocatalysis.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History


New Latin

First Known Use

1891, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of autocatalysis was in 1891

Dictionary Entries Near autocatalysis

Cite this Entry

“Autocatalysis.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Mar. 2023.

Medical Definition


au·​to·​ca·​tal·​y·​sis ˌȯt-ō-kə-ˈtal-ə-səs How to pronounce autocatalysis (audio)
plural autocatalyses -ˌsēz How to pronounce autocatalysis (audio)
: catalysis of a reaction by one of its products

called also autoactivation

autocatalytic adjective
autocatalytically adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on autocatalysis

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