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Pronunciation (US): 

 Dictionary entry overview: What does catalyst mean? 

  The noun CATALYST has 2 senses:

1. (chemistry) a substance that initiates or accelerates a chemical reaction without itself being affected
2. something that causes an important event to happen

  Familiarity information: CATALYST used as a noun is rare.

 Dictionary entry details 


Sense 1catalyst [BACK TO TOP]


(chemistry) a substance that initiates or accelerates a chemical reaction without itself being affected

Classified under:

Nouns denoting substances


catalyst; accelerator

Hypernyms ("catalyst" is a kind of...):

activator ((biology) any agency bringing about activation; a molecule that increases the activity of an enzyme or a protein that increases the production of a gene product in DNA transcription)

Domain category:

chemical science; chemistry (the science of matter; the branch of the natural sciences dealing with the composition of substances and their properties and reactions)

Hyponyms (each of the following is a kind of "catalyst"):

biocatalyst (a biochemical catalyst such as an enzyme)

enzyme (any of several complex proteins that are produced by cells and act as catalysts in specific biochemical reactions)

platinum black (a fine black powder of platinum; used as a catalyst in chemical reactions)


anticatalyst ((chemistry) a substance that retards a chemical reaction or diminishes the activity of a catalyst)

Sense 2catalyst [BACK TO TOP]


Something that causes an important event to happen

Classified under:

Nouns denoting people

Context example:

the invasion acted as a catalyst to unite the country

Hypernyms ("catalyst" is a kind of...):

causal agency; causal agent; cause (any entity that produces an effect or is responsible for events or results)

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 CATALYST: related words searches 

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