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 This case should be of special interest to Congress, as the bill hopes that National Science Foundation funding will catalyze more academic–industry cooperation in technologies with applications for the U.S. military. Linda Zhang, National Review, 2 June 2021 As Minnesota and cities and counties prepare to invest $2.58 billion from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), policymakers should go beyond economic stimulus and recovery and catalyze transformation to build an equitable and inclusive economy. Star Tribune, 18 Apr. 2021 Lisa Sun started womenswear brand Gravitas — which has been worn by Alicia Keys and Cate Blanchett — with a single mission: to catalyze confidence. Katie Chang, Travel + Leisure, 7 May 2021 The Bengals drafted three players who would help catalyze their offense. Mike Bass, The Enquirer, 29 Apr. 2021 An incident at a Porterville park appeared to catalyze Carrillo in an intense way. Matt Hamilton, Los Angeles Times, 17 Apr. 2021 Moreover, high ambition from a group of major economies can help catalyze additional action from laggard nations. Rachel Cleetus, Scientific American, 14 Apr. 2021 The company created the Microsoft Garage, a hub designed to catalyze grassroots innovation. Kumar Mehta, Forbes, 9 Mar. 2021 The violent expulsion of 750,000 Rohingya from the country in 2017 failed to catalyze widespread protests or condemnation at home. New York Times, 22 Feb. 2021

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

14 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Catalyze.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for catalyze


transitive verb
variants: or British catalyse \ ˈkat-​ᵊl-​ˌīz How to pronounce catalyze (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


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