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

And the success in Zambia also helped catalyze a larger movement across the African continent: education ministries in Botswana, Côte d’Ivoire, Kenya, and Nigeria are now developing their own Teaching at the Right Level pilots. Meagan Neal, Vox, "It’s hard to design good policies. This simple idea can help governments do it.," 21 Dec. 2018 The Obama administration had introduced a series of advanced manufacturing centers across the nation, to try and catalyze the development of new industries, but that program has largely been set aside during the current administration. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "When towns lose a factory, what comes next?," 29 Nov. 2018 Every city and municipality wants to be seen as fostering innovation, catalyzing startup culture, and attracting entrepreneurs and job creators. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "Big cities courting big tech helped define 2018," 18 Dec. 2018 Of course, these aren’t the first young people to turn their grief into a moral uprising: Dream Defenders, catalyzed by the shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, did the same several years ago. Harper's BAZAAR, "Signs For Hope," 16 Aug. 2018 Their meteoric rise has both reflected and catalyzed a focus on the place of gender and sustainability in today’s fashion landscape. Sessa Tate, Teen Vogue, "MI Leggett Is the Non-Binary Designer Fighting to Dismantle Gender Norms," 15 Aug. 2018 The death, along with others involving black youths killed in encounters with white officers, triggered mass protests nationwide and helped catalyze the Black Lives Matter movement. Fox News, "Michael Brown's mother seeks public office in Ferguson, Mo.," 11 Aug. 2018 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

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

5 Jan 2019

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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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with catalyze

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for catalyze

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marked by shyness and lack of polish

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