Definition of catalyst in English:

catalyst

noun

  • 1A substance that increases the rate of a chemical reaction without itself undergoing any permanent chemical change.

    • ‘Ionic liquids usefully form one of the phases because they don't mix with many organic solvents, but readily dissolve metals used as catalysts.’
    • ‘Silicone surfactants, and amine and tin catalysts, are also used.’
    • ‘These versatile molecules function as catalysts in the hydrogen peroxide bleaching process.’
    • ‘All of the platinum-group metals are good catalysts: they speed up the rate of certain chemical reactions.’
    • ‘Enzymes are the biological substance that act as catalysts and help complex reactions occur everywhere in life.’
    • ‘The one exception is that it is sometimes used as a catalyst in the petroleum industry.’
    • ‘Instead, we started to look further afield at copper-based catalysts that had been rejected during the initial ester hydrogenation testwork.’
    • ‘He attempted to polymerize ethylene using catalysts at a much lower pressure than that used by the British process.’
    • ‘Chemicals in the catalytic converter act as catalysts, changing the highly hazardous gas compounds to less harmful ones.’
    • ‘The element is also used to make dyes, photographic film, specialized soaps, and catalysts.’
    • ‘When temperature is increased, synthetic catalysts can become just as active as enzymes.’
    • ‘Finally, a relatively small amount of rhenium is used to make catalysts for the petroleum industry.’
    • ‘Heterogeneous catalysts are materials that increase the rate of a reaction, but are not in the same phase as the reactants.’
    • ‘Many alkyl halides, alcohols, or alkenes can be reacted with benzene in the presence of certain catalysts to give an alkyl benzene.’
    • ‘Some germanium is also used to make semiconductors, catalysts, and specialized glass for military weapon-sighting systems.’
    • ‘Solid oxide catalysts are commonly used for chemical and refinery operations.’
    • ‘Catalyst recovery is one of the most actively researched areas for cost-cutting in the chemical industry, as catalysts often contain rare and expensive metals.’
    • ‘In fact, zeolites are the main catalysts in petrochemical refineries today.’
    • ‘Most converters use platinum or palladium metal catalysts that convert carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons to carbon dioxide and water vapor.’
    • ‘The key tools will be new breeds of enzymes - protein catalysts that speed up chemical reactions in cells.’
    channel, medium, means, means of expression, agency, agent, instrument, mechanism, organ, apparatus, structure, machine, machinery
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    1. 1.1 A person or thing that precipitates an event.
      ‘the governor's speech acted as a catalyst for debate’
      • ‘The film's other characters are secondary, and often serve little purpose beyond acting as catalysts.’
      • ‘Public opinion polls often serve as catalysts for such debates.’
      • ‘This is the catalyst for a chain of events which threatens to destabilise the parliament.’
      • ‘Historical and meaningful events such as this often act as a catalyst for change.’
      • ‘Though the film is around these two men, it is the women who play the catalyst to all the events and add momentum to the story.’
      • ‘There are many events however that serve as catalysts for the big historic shifts.’
      • ‘All three shocks have caused, or been a catalyst for, a serious downturn in western economies.’
      • ‘I hope that it will be a catalyst for an ongoing debate and discussion in our field.’
      • ‘If there is any catalyst to get the team motivated for next season it will be this performance in the nationals.’
      • ‘It is the union of the latter two that provides the catalyst for the events that follow.’
      • ‘It is amazing what acts as a catalyst to spur people on to do something about a situation.’
      • ‘Events, individuals, circumstances and situations are catalysts for transformations in culture.’
      • ‘The event was to be used as a catalyst for change and to bring new hope to residents in rundown areas of the city.’
      • ‘On the second issue, the crisis also served as a catalyst to the birth of a more responsible and braver press.’
      • ‘It will hopefully act as a catalyst for more formal public education in the future.’
      • ‘The beach becomes the catalyst which encourages them to break society's rules.’
      • ‘More importantly, it was about inspired individuals being the catalysts of effecting new possibilities.’
      • ‘In Scotland, it has always been Catholic schools which have been the catalyst for this debate.’
      • ‘The primary catalysts that induced this growth were the end-user industries, communications, and computers, in particular.’
      • ‘The Parliamentary debate on this report was the actual catalyst which prompted the minister to resign.’
      stimulus, stimulation, motivation, motivating force, fillip, encouragement, influence, muse, goad, spur, lift, boost, incentive, incitement, impulse
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Origin

Early 20th century: from catalysis, on the pattern of analyst.

Pronunciation

catalyst

/ˈkad(ə)ləst//ˈkæd(ə)ləst/