cat·​a·​lyt·​ic | \ ˌka-tə-ˈli-tik How to pronounce catalytic (audio) \

Definition of catalytic

: causing, involving, or relating to catalysis

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from catalytic

catalytically \ ˌka-​tə-​ˈli-​ti-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce catalytically (audio) \ adverb

Examples of catalytic in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Non-catalytic stoves draw the woodsmoke through a series of baffles [Fig. Roy Berendson, Popular Mechanics, "The Ultimate Guide To Cutting and Splitting Firewood," 28 Sep. 2018 It is lifted by a thin, 17-foot rotor blade that whirls just above the pilot's head under the power of hydrogen peroxide fuel broken down by catalytic action into steam that is ejected at high speed from the rotor tips. Scott Harrison,, "From the Archives: The Pinwheel helicopter," 19 June 2018 But the catalytic evil of the park has turned out to be something far less futuristic than the show’s premise would imply. Brian Barrett, WIRED, "Westworld’s Real Villain Has Always Been Its Privacy Policy," 24 June 2018 In the mid-1970s, Dale Flook applied for a patent on the concept of using a computer to monitor a process of catalytic conversion of hydrocarbons. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "Why a 40-year-old SCOTUS ruling against software patents still matters today," 21 June 2018 The second season, which arrived in 2017, tackled the conundrum of Kanye West's catalytic My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. Hannah Giorgis, The Atlantic, "Is It Futile to 'Dissect' Frank Ocean's Work?," 17 May 2018 Remarkably, all the protein in all organisms is made by the catalytic activity of the RNA component of the ribosome, the cellular machine that reads genetic information and makes protein molecules. Jack Szostak, Scientific American, "How Did Life Begin?," 8 May 2018 For community leaders who lack resources, Mr. Grogan said, rehabilitating just one house or creating a community garden can have a catalytic effect. Paul Sullivan, New York Times, "When Your Fixer-Upper Is Your Hometown," 13 Apr. 2018 The building’s redevelopment was cited as a potential catalytic project for the neighborhood in a 2015 design charrette sponsored by the North Avenue/Fond Du Lac Business Improvement District. Tom Daykin, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Former Sears store in Milwaukee's central city to be redeveloped into new commercial uses," 24 Jan. 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of catalytic

1836, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about catalytic

Statistics for catalytic

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for catalytic

The first known use of catalytic was in 1836

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for catalytic


cat·​a·​lyt·​ic | \ ˌkat-ᵊl-ˈit-ik How to pronounce catalytic (audio) \

Medical Definition of catalytic

: causing, involving, or relating to catalysis a catalytic reaction

Other Words from catalytic

catalytically \ -​ˈit-​i-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce catalytically (audio) \ adverb

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on catalytic

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with catalytic

Spanish Central: Translation of catalytic

Nglish: Translation of catalytic for Spanish Speakers

Comments on catalytic

What made you want to look up catalytic? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


something valued as if it were money

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Time Traveler Quiz: Which Word Came First?

  • time traveler quiz which word came first
  • Which came first?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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