verb (used with object), cat·a·lyzed, cat·a·lyz·ing.

to act upon by catalysis.

Also especially British, cat·a·lyse.

Origin of catalyze

First recorded in 1885–90; cataly(sis) + (-i)ze
Related formscat·a·lyz·er, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for catalyze

Contemporary Examples of catalyze

  • They can initiate ideas and catalyze a certain form, but the trick is not to begin, but to sustain.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Chang-rae Lee: How I Write

    Noah Charney

    January 22, 2014

  • They reward leaders who push the envelope, catalyze action, and get stuff done.

    The Daily Beast logo
    How Cities Are Fixing America

    Bruce Katz, Jennifer Bradley

    June 17, 2013

  • On the band-wagon of growing criticism over Israeli policies, these groups use BDS to catalyze an anti-Israeli zeitgeist.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Partial B(DS)?

    Eran Shayshon

    July 18, 2012

Historical Examples of catalyze

  • Cam's feverish brain had figured out a host of effects to catalyze the audience reaction.


    Vance Simonds

Word Origin and History for catalyze

1890, back-formation from catalysis on model of analyze/analysis. Related: Catalyzed; catalyzing. Probably influenced by French catalyser (1842).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

catalyze in Medicine




To modify, especially to increase, the rate of a chemical reaction by catalysis.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

catalyze in Science



To modify, especially to increase, the rate of a chemical reaction through the action of a catalyst.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.