Dictionary > Catalyst

Catalyst

Definition
noun, plural catalyst
A substance capable of initiating or speeding up a chemical reaction.
Supplement
Chemical reaction can proceed spontaneously even without a catalyst but it would be too slow. The presence of a catalyst can make chemical reactions proceed faster by a factor of several million times. The catalyst may be chemically transformed but only transiently during the reaction. By the end of the reaction, the catalyst is regenerated unchanged, and unconsumed in the reaction. An example of catalyst is an enzyme used by biological reactions.
Word origin: from catalysis ยป from Gk. kata “down” + -lysis “a loosening”.
Related forms: catalytic (adjective), catalysis (noun), catalyze (verb).

Related terms: organic catalyst, raney catalyst.
Compare: inhibitor.


You will also like...

Pink Lotus plant on a pond
Freshwater Lentic Communities & Animals

This tutorial looks at some of the communities in freshwater lentic habitats. For instance, symbiosis occurs in a commun..

Sensory systems
Sensory Systems

A sensory system is a part of the nervous system consisting of sensory receptors that receive stimuli from the internal ..

Direct and indirect physiologic effects of growth hormone
Animal Growth Hormones

Hormones are produced in the endocrine glands of animals. The pituitary gland and hypothalamus are the most impor..

Plant Water Regulation
Plant Water Regulation

Plants need to regulate water in order to stay upright and structurally stable. Find out the different evolutionary adap..

Sugar Homeostasis
Sugar Homeostasis

The blood sugar level is regulated by two hormones. The mechanism behind this type of negative feedback control is descr..

Genetics – Lesson Outline & Worksheets
Genetics – Lesson Outline & Worksheets

  Topics Modules Quizzes/Worksheets Description Introduction to Genetics Genetics – Definition: Heredity and ..