This shows grade level based on the words complexity.

[ kat-l-ist ]

/ ˈkæt l ɪst /

This shows grade level based on the words complexity.


Chemistry. a substance that causes or accelerates a chemical reaction without itself being affected.

something that causes activity between two or more persons or forces without itself being affected.

a person or thing that precipitates an event or change: His imprisonment by the government served as the catalyst that helped transform social unrest into revolution.

a person whose talk, enthusiasm, or energy causes others to be more friendly, enthusiastic, or energetic.


Can A Person Be A Catalyst?

A catalyst means something that causes activity, an event, or change. And usually, these events and changes are big. But, can a catalyst be a person?




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self-cat·a·lyst, nounsem·i·cat·a·lyst, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

How to use catalyst in a sentence

  • South Africa provides 84% of the platinum group metals needed for fuel cells and automotive catalysts.

  • That time spent in Ghana and across West and sub-Saharan Africa became my catalyst for starting Tala, and I regularly encourage my team members to take on a “figure it out!”

  • Floyd’s death was the catalyst for this year’s earlier protests, and Blake’s shooting reignited the demonstrations.

  • So, more than anything, the endorsement was a catalyst for us to actually say let’s do something, we don’t have to sit around and wait on what are we going to do, endorse or not endorse.

  • Brittney Sykes is a defensive catalyst for the Sparks and dramatically improved her efficiency from two.

  • But the copper performs another important function: working as a catalyst in the distillation process.

  • Brunch is a catalyst, brunch is the enforcer of different-rules-for-the-weekend.

  • We are proud that our film could be a catalyst for even a small change in the ways these boys are treated in China.

  • Other non-design services, like Adobe Business Catalyst, which hosts email fundraising campaigns and e-commerce, also went down.

  • And that question is the catalyst for all the ambiguity throughout the film.

  • This simple act may have been the catalyst which gave Burl the solution to the problem.

  • We may, then, compare the catalyst to what is known as a good mixer in society.

  • The tactful hostess, the salon leader, is a social catalyst.

  • When hydrogen peroxide comes in contact with a catalyst, such as permanganate of potash, it breaks down into oxygen and water.

  • The catalyst which was necessary for the final reaction would be brought to him by Polter.

British Dictionary definitions for catalyst


a substance that increases the rate of a chemical reaction without itself suffering any permanent chemical changeCompare inhibitor (def. 2)

a person or thing that causes a change

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

Medical definitions for catalyst


A substance, usually used in small amounts relative to the reactants, that modifies and increases the rate of a reaction without being consumed in the process.

Other words from catalyst

cat′a•lytic (kăt′l-ĭtĭk) adj.

The American Heritage® Stedmans Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Scientific definitions for catalyst

A substance that starts or speeds up a chemical reaction while undergoing no permanent change itself. The enzymes in saliva, for example, are catalysts in digestion.

Other words from catalyst

catalytic adjective (kăt′l-ĭtĭk)

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Cultural definitions for catalyst

notes for catalyst

The term catalyst is often used to refer to the prime agent of any change: “She was the catalyst for the reorganization.”

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

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