Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Chemistry 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.
  • noun One that precipitates a process or event, especially without being involved in or changed by the consequences.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun In physical chemistry Same as catalytic agent (which see).

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Chem.) a substance that initiates or accelerates a chemical reaction without itself being affected.
  • noun something that serves as a precipitating occasion for an event.
  • noun something or someone that causes events to happen with itself being changed.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun chemistry A substance that increases the rate of a chemical reaction without being consumed in the process.
  • noun Someone or something that encourages progress or change.
  • noun automotive A catalytic converter.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

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

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[From catalysis.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From catalysis +‎ -ist.

Examples

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    January 15, 2010