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Definition of catalyst


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cat·a·lyst  audio  (ktl-st) KEY 

NOUN:
  1. 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.
  2. One that precipitates a process or event, especially without being involved in or changed by the consequences: "A free press ... has remained ... a vital catalyst to an informed and responsible electorate" (Robert O'Neal).

ETYMOLOGY:
From catalysis


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