top of page




trigger, impediment, hindrance, obstruction



How to pronounce catalyst (audio)

Dictionary definition of catalyst

Any person or thing that triggers or sparks a significant event or change, often by serving as a facilitator or accelerator.
"The research project was a catalyst for developing new technology."

Detailed meaning of catalyst

A catalyst can be a person who inspires or motivates others, a situation that prompts action, or a thing that acts as a stimulus or impetus. In this sense, a catalyst plays a critical role in the occurrence of a particular event or change, although it does not necessarily cause the change itself. The concept of a catalyst can be applied to various fields, including social, economic, and political contexts, and it often connotes a positive or influential force that helps bring about transformation or progress.

It can be more specifically defined as a substance that speeds up a chemical reaction without being consumed or changed by the reaction. It is a chemical substance that increases the rate of a chemical reaction without being consumed or altered by the reaction itself. Catalysts work by providing an alternative pathway for a reaction that requires less energy, thus making the reaction more efficient. They are used in a wide range of industrial and biological processes, such as refining oil and producing chemicals, as well as in various medical treatments. Catalysts can be natural or synthetic, and they can be in the form of enzymes, metals, or other materials. They are important in many industrial processes, as they can increase the efficiency of a reaction while also reducing energy consumption and emissions. In general, a catalyst is a substance that helps to speed up a chemical reaction without being consumed or changed by the reaction, making the reaction more efficient.

Example sentences of catalyst

1. Her speech was the catalyst for a wave of social change.
2. Innovation serves as the catalyst for economic growth.
3. A trusted mentor can be a powerful catalyst for success.
4. The internet acted as a catalyst for the information age.
5. A single idea can be the catalyst for a revolutionary product.
6. His arrival at the company was the catalyst for its turnaround.

History and etymology of catalyst

The noun 'catalyst' has its etymological roots in Greek. It is derived from the Greek word 'katalysis,' which means 'dissolution' or 'a loosening.' This term is formed from 'kata,' meaning 'down,' and 'lysis,' meaning 'a loosening' or 'a breaking apart.' In its original sense, 'catalyst' referred to a substance that could facilitate or accelerate a chemical reaction by loosening or breaking apart the chemical bonds between molecules, thus promoting the reaction's progress. Over time, the word expanded its meaning to describe any person or thing that triggers or sparks a significant event or change, often by serving as a facilitator or accelerator, similar to how a chemical catalyst speeds up reactions. This etymology highlights the fundamental concept of something that initiates or accelerates a process, which remains at the core of the meaning of 'catalyst' in both its original chemical context and its broader figurative usage.

Find the meaning of catalyst

Try Again!


Further usage examples of catalyst

1. Education is often the catalyst for personal transformation.
2. The catalyst for their friendship was a shared love of music.
3. Renewable energy is a catalyst for environmental sustainability.
4. Love can be a catalyst for profound self-discovery.
5. The discovery of fire was a pivotal human catalyst.
6. A crisis can act as a catalyst for positive change.
7. The catalyst behind the movement was a call for justice.
8. Scientific breakthroughs often serve as catalysts for progress.
9. A simple conversation can be the catalyst for reconciliation.
10. The artist's work became a catalyst for cultural reflection.
11. Travel can be a catalyst for broadening one's perspective.
12. The introduction of smartphones was a catalyst for connectivity.
13. Personal tragedy can be a catalyst for personal growth.
14. Collaboration can serve as a catalyst for creative synergy.
15. The new manager proved to be a catalyst for change within the company.
16. The debate was a catalyst for important discussions on the issue.
17. The meeting served as a catalyst for brainstorming new ideas.
18. The event was a catalyst for community engagement and activism.
19. The teacher was a catalyst for helping students reach their full potential.
20. The crisis acted as a catalyst for much-needed reform.
21. The invention was a catalyst for significant advancements in the field.
22. The incident was a catalyst for increased safety measures.
23. The book was a catalyst for a change in societal attitudes.
24. The movement served as a catalyst for political change.
25. The conversation was a catalyst for understanding and cooperation.



Quiz categories containing catalyst


Better Words_edited.jpg
Multiple Choice Game

Multiple Choice

Opposite Words Game

Opposite Words

Same or Different Game



Spelling Bee

bottom of page