cat·​a·​lyze | \ˈka-tə-ˌlīz \
catalyzed; catalyzing

Definition of catalyze 

transitive verb

1 : to bring about the catalysis of (a chemical reaction) an enzyme that catalyzes the breakdown of the sugars

2 : bring about, inspire his vigorous efforts to catalyze us into activity— Harrison Brown

3 : to alter significantly by or as if by catalysis innovations in basic chemical theory that have catalyzed the fieldNewsweek

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Other Words from catalyze

catalyzer noun

Examples of catalyze in a Sentence

a reinstitution of the draft would catalyze protests around the country

Recent Examples on the Web

Both honor Barnes' leadership from 1999 to 2007 that catalyzed the revival of a moribund downtown. Conner Mitchell, kansascity, "Kay Barnes’ ‘enormous impact’ on KC honored at her ballroom dedication," 29 June 2018 Trump said of Mexican immigrants in 2015, a comment that catalyzed his campaign to become president. Sarah Jones, The New Republic, "Can White Supremacists Unlearn Hate?," 13 Apr. 2018 Just to make life even more confusing, there are a whole range of materials that catalyze pyrolysis reactions to create different types of hydrocarbons. Chris Lee, Ars Technica, "Lumber’s lure: Thanks to physics, viable biofuel may grow in the woods," 5 Apr. 2018 Hyperinflation can be a catalyst for economic reform My research shows that hyperinflation tends to catalyze and sustain economic reform in Latin America. Stephen Kaplan, Washington Post, "Will Sunday’s elections bring economic relief and reform to Venezuela?," 17 May 2018 Designed to explore contemporary art’s power to catalyze change, the inaugural exhibit will feature many site-specific works by 33 emerging and established artists from Richmond and around the globe, including Paul Rucker. Hilarie M. Sheets, New York Times, "New Contemporary Art Institute Reverberates in Richmond’s Historic Landscape," 9 Mar. 2018 The Astros responded with seven two-out runs, catalyzed by Yuli Gurriel's first grand slam of the season. Chandler Rome, Houston Chronicle, "Yuli Gurriel's grand slam fuels Astros' rout of Royals," 24 June 2018 The last decade of the NBA has morphed the league into a giant science experiment, testing which players and schemes flourish when catalyzed by the optimal coaching staff and front office. Jeremy Woo,, "NBA Draft Debates: Marvin Bagley III, Mohamed Bamba or Jaren Jackson Jr?," 25 May 2018 Something catalyzed by a bad experience had grown into a celebration of women’s ideas and feelings. Emma Koenig, The Cut, "What I Learned From Interviewing All the Women I Know About Their Orgasms," 23 May 2018

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

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First Known Use of catalyze

1890, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for catalyze

see catalysis

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Statistics for catalyze

Last Updated

28 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for catalyze

The first known use of catalyze was in 1890

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More Definitions for catalyze


transitive verb
variants: or British catalyse \ ˈkat-​ᵊl-​ˌīz \
catalyzed or British catalysed; catalyzing or British catalysing

Medical Definition of catalyze 

: to bring about the catalysis of (a chemical reaction)

Other Words from catalyze

catalyzer or British catalyser noun

More from Merriam-Webster on catalyze

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Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for catalyze

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by force of circumstances

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