< /kəˈtæl əˌsiz/.
- Chemistry. the causing or accelerating of a chemical change by the addition of a catalyst.
- an action between two or more persons or forces, initiated by an agent that itself remains unaffected by the action: social catalyses occasioned by controversial writings.
verb (used with object), cat·a·lyzed, cat·a·lyz·ing.
- to act upon by catalysis.
noun plural -ses (-ˌsiːz)
- acceleration of a chemical reaction by the action of a catalyst
1650s, “dissolution,” from Latinized form of Greek katalysis “dissolution, a dissolving” (of governments, military units, etc.), from katalyein “to dissolve,” from kata- “down” (or “completely”), see cata-, + lyein “to loosen” (see lose). Chemical sense “change caused by an agent which itself remains unchanged” is attested from 1836, introduced by Swedish chemist Jöns Jakob Berzelius (1779-1848).
1890, back-formation from catalysis on model of analyze/analysis. Related: Catalyzed; catalyzing. Probably influenced by French catalyser (1842).
n. pl. ca•tal•y•ses (-sēz′)
- The action of a catalyst, especially an increase in the rate of a chemical reaction.
- To modify, especially to increase, the rate of a chemical reaction by catalysis.
- To modify, especially to increase, the rate of a chemical reaction through the action of a catalyst.