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catalysis

[kuh-tal-uh-sis]
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noun, plural ca·tal·y·ses [kuh-tal-uh-seez] /kəˈtæl əˌsiz/.
  1. Chemistry. the causing or accelerating of a chemical change by the addition of a catalyst.
  2. 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.
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Origin of catalysis

1645–55; < New Latin < Greek katálȳsis dissolution, equivalent to katalȳ́(ein) to dissolve (kata- cata- + lȳ́ein to loosen) + -sis -sis
Related formscat·a·lyt·ic [kat-l-it-ik] /ˌkæt lˈɪt ɪk/, adjective, nouncat·a·lyt·i·cal, adjectivecat·a·lyt·i·cal·ly, adverban·ti·cat·a·lyt·ic, adjective, nounan·ti·cat·a·lyt·i·cal·ly, adverbnon·cat·a·lyt·ic, adjective, nounnon·cat·a·lyt·i·cal·ly, adverbself-ca·tal·y·sis, nounsem·i·cat·a·lyt·ic, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for catalysis

Historical Examples

  • We may look upon this process as a special kind of catalysis.

    The Wonders of Life

    Ernst Haeckel

  • "I think you can rely upon your powers of catalysis, Dorothy," he said.

    The Vanity Girl

    Compton Mackenzie

  • They've found the secret of catalysis, and can actually synthesize any catalytic agent they want.

    Islands of Space

    John W Campbell

  • We call this catalysis, catalytic action, the action of presence, or by what learned name we choose.

    Medical Essays

    Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

  • The phenomenon known as "catalysis" is of common occurrence in both inorganic and organic chemistry.

    The Chemistry of Plant Life

    Roscoe Wilfred Thatcher


British Dictionary definitions for catalysis

catalysis

noun plural -ses (-ˌsiːz)
  1. acceleration of a chemical reaction by the action of a catalyst
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Word Origin

C17: from New Latin, from Greek katalusis, from kataluein to dissolve
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for catalysis

n.

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).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

catalysis in Medicine

catalysis

(kə-tălĭ-sĭs)
n. pl. ca•tal•y•ses (-sēz′)
  1. The action of a catalyst, especially an increase in the rate of a chemical reaction.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.