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catalysis (n.)

1650s, "dissolution," from Latinized form of Greek katalysis "dissolution, a dissolving" (of governments, military units, etc.), from katalyein "to dissolve," from kata "down" (or "completely"), see cata-, + lyein "to loosen" (from PIE root *leu- "to loosen, divide, cut apart"). Chemical sense "change caused by an agent which itself remains unchanged" is attested from 1836, introduced by Swedish chemist Jöns Jakob Berzelius (1779-1848).

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Definitions of catalysis from WordNet

catalysis (n.)
acceleration of a chemical reaction induced the presence of material that is chemically unchanged at the end of the reaction;
of the top 50 commodity chemicals, 30 are created directly by catalysis and another 6 are made from raw materials that are catalytically produced
Synonyms: contact action
From wordnet.princeton.edu