autocatalysis

noun

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

Examples of autocatalysis in a Sentence

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 examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'autocatalysis.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

borrowed from German Autokalyse, from auto- auto- + Katalyse catalysis

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.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/autocatalysis. Accessed 21 Jul. 2024.

Medical Definition

autocatalysis

noun
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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!