catalyst
Pronunciation
  • (British) IPA: /ˈkæt.əl.ɪst/
  • (America) IPA: /ˈkæt.ə.lɪst/
Noun

catalyst (plural catalysts)

  1. (chemistry) A substance that increases the rate of a chemical reaction without being consumed in the process.
    • 1988, Lubert Stryer Biochemistry, 3rd edition, page 177
      Enzymes, the catalysts of biological systems, are remarkable molecular devices that determine the pattern of chemical transformations.
  2. Someone or something that encourages progress or change.
    Economic development and integration are working as a catalyst for peace.
    • 2006, The Freedom Writers, with Erin Gruwell, The Freedom Writers Diary: How a Teacher and 150 Teens Used Writing to Change Themselves and the World Around Them, Diary 74
      Rosa Parks was a true catalyst for change and she was only one person. Hearing about Rosa Parks and her protest showed me that there is hope for me and all the students in Ms. G's classes to truly be catalysts for change.
  3. (literature) An inciting incident that sets the successive conflict into motion.
  4. (automotive) A catalytic converter.
Synonyms Antonyms
  • (something that encourages change) inhibitor
  • (something that enhances or accelerates) dampener
Translations Translations


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