Ca*tal"y*sis (?), n.; pl.
Catalyse. (#) [ML., fr. Gr. ? dissolution,
fr. ? to destroy, dissolve; kata` down, wholly + ?
1. Dissolution; degeneration;
Sad catalysis and declension of piety.
2. (Chem.) (a) A
process by which reaction occurs in the presence of certain
agents which were formerly believed to exert an influence by mere
contact. It is now believed that such reactions are attended with
the formation of an intermediate compound or compounds, so that
by alternate composition and decomposition the agent is apparenty
left unchanged; as, the catalysis of making ether from
alcohol by means of sulphuric acid; or catalysis in the
action of soluble ferments (as diastase, or ptyalin) on
starch. (b) The catalytic