ca·​tal·​y·​sis | \ kə-ˈta-lə-səs How to pronounce catalysis (audio) \
plural catalyses\ kə-​ˈta-​lə-​ˌsēz How to pronounce catalysis (audio) \

Definition of catalysis

: a modification and especially increase in the rate of a chemical reaction induced by material unchanged chemically at the end of the reaction

Examples of catalysis in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web List and MacMillan, working independently, developed a new kind of catalysis, called organocatalysis, which uses small, organic molecules that allows the process to be cheaper and better for the environment than the traditional methods. Michael T. Nietzel, Forbes, 7 Oct. 2021 The Nobel panel said List and MacMillan in 2000 independently developed a new way of catalysis., 6 Oct. 2021 In a new evaluation run by the U.S. Department of Energy's Idaho National Laboratory, NuScale’s nuclear module performed effective catalysis for hydrogen. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, 14 Dec. 2020 At the surface Where the SrTiO3 tends to fall short is in the catalysis. John Timmer, Ars Technica, 27 May 2020 That crystalline structure imparts mechanical properties that are useful for catalysis, gas storage, and drug delivery, for example. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 21 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'catalysis.' 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 catalysis

1836, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for catalysis

Greek katalysis dissolution, from katalyein to dissolve, from kata- + lyein to dissolve, release — more at lose

Learn More About catalysis

Time Traveler for catalysis

Time Traveler

The first known use of catalysis was in 1836

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near catalysis




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for catalysis

Last Updated

19 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Catalysis.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Nov. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for catalysis


ca·​tal·​y·​sis | \ kə-ˈtal-ə-səs How to pronounce catalysis (audio) \
plural catalyses\ -​ˌsēz How to pronounce catalysis (audio) \

Medical Definition of catalysis

: a change and especially increase in the rate of a chemical reaction induced by a catalyst

More from Merriam-Webster on catalysis Encyclopedia article about catalysis


Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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