cat·​a·​lyze | \ ˈka-tə-ˌlīz How to pronounce catalyze (audio) \
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 The passage of state legislation last week catalyzed the city’s moves by broadening the population of severely mentally ill people who can be forced into treatment. Dominic Fracassa,, "‘People are refusing what we're offering’: Breed pushes expansion of mandated SF mental health treatment," 7 Oct. 2019 Against this backdrop, the EPA’s Aug. 9 decision catalyzed farmers’ simmering resentment into outrage. Washington Post, "Farm-state fury creates pressure for Trump as trade, energy pain collide," 1 Oct. 2019 Shrader instantly catalyzed the Bulldog offense on its first scoring drive of the night. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Nix helps No. 7 Auburn rout Mississippi State," 28 Sep. 2019 The Stonewall Riots would catalyze the movement for a gay equality half a century ago. Meagan Ellsworth, Houston Chronicle, "Diverse attendees find 'tribe' at The Woodlands Pride Festival," 28 Sep. 2019 But Crowther's rapid rise to prominence has also catalyzed a strong and sometimes personal backlash. Gabriel Popkin, Science | AAAS, "Catchy findings have propelled this young ecologist to fame—and enraged his critics," 24 Oct. 2019 The two killings spurred protests and helped catalyze the Black Lives Matter movement. Washington Post, "Epstein death puts renowned pathologist back in spotlight," 12 Aug. 2019 Each episode of harsh police action captured by mobile phone and beamed around cyberspace catalyzes more sympathy, more protests — and more prospects for violence., "NEW DELHI — Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government has rounded up thousands of Muslims in Kashmir, revoked the area’s autonomy, and enforced a citizenship test in northeastern India that left nearly 2 million people potentially stateless, many of them Muslim.," 17 Dec. 2019 Each episode of harsh police action captured by mobile phone and beamed around cyberspace catalyzes more sympathy, more protests — and more prospects for violence. New York Times, "As Protests Rage on Citizenship Bill, Is India Becoming a Hindu Nation?," 16 Dec. 2019

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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Time Traveler for catalyze

Time Traveler

The first known use of catalyze was in 1890

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Statistics for catalyze

Last Updated

19 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Catalyze.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 20 January 2020.

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More Definitions for catalyze

variants: or British catalyse \ ˈkat-​ᵊl-​ˌīz How to pronounce catalyse (audio) \
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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for catalyze

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with catalyze

Comments on catalyze

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


not to be intimidated or subdued

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