Definition of catalyse in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈkat(ə)lʌɪz/
(US catalyze)


[with object]
1Cause or accelerate (a reaction) by acting as a catalyst: the enzyme catalyses the oxidation of acetaldehyde
More example sentences
  • This reaction is catalyzed by the enzyme citrate synthase.
  • In both cases the nitric oxide is produced by a reaction from a chemical called L-arginine. The chemical reaction is catalysed by an enzyme called nitric oxide synthase.
  • However, studies have shown that lead, like other heavy metals, inactivates enzymes (proteins that catalyze biochemical reactions).
1.1Cause (an action or process) to begin: the introduction of the canal and the railway catalysed the city’s industrial growth
More example sentences
  • Water is a major issue that can catalyze the peace process or inhibit it.
  • In doing so, she catalyses a process of reconnection and healing where there had previously been tight-lipped repression.
  • Calling in the IMF will do nothing more than catalyse this process, given the Fund's past form in this area.


Late 19th century: from catalysis, on the pattern of analyse.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: cata|lyse

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