I am trying to formulate a sentence of the form

We want to VERB the move to a fossil-fuel free world

That has the same meaning as

We want to initiate a self-reinforcing process that others will pick up on, which will move us to a fossil-fuel free world.

Is there such a word?

  • 1
    kick off the move to a fossil-free world or jump start the move to
    – Lambie
    May 29, 2017 at 17:58
  • 1
    I want to ignite the move to a fossil-fuel free world.
    – GEdgar
    May 29, 2017 at 18:01
  • 2
    Start the ball rolling.
    – Hot Licks
    May 29, 2017 at 18:25

3 Answers 3


"catalyze" does not mesh exactly with your specific definition, but accomplishes being 1) the beginning of the process, 2) the inspiration or cause for more of the process from others. Oxford Abridged has the definition as "cause or accelerate (a reaction) by acting as a catalyst".

  • Actually, it does meet your definition now that substitute it in for your example sentence. May 29, 2017 at 18:02

Consider precipitate, as a transitive verb; it has the connotation of being a small action that brings about major results. From the OED:

3. trans. a. To cause (an event or series of events) to happen quickly, suddenly, or unexpectedly; to hasten the occurrence of. Now also more generally: to bring about, cause to happen.

b. To cause (an event or series of events) to proceed rapidly or pass quickly; to hasten, hurry along.

"European competition has a fearful tendency to precipitate the ageing process among managers [in Scotland]."

  • The only problem with "precipitate" is that it carries a passive sort of vibe, like its weather usage, not explicitly stating that the it was intended that the follow-on events were intended, nor that the precipitation was in any way deliberate. May 29, 2017 at 20:03


Support or actively encourage (a cause, venture, etc.); further the progress of. ‘some regulation is still required to promote competition’


Your sentence:

We want to promote the move to a fossil-fuel free world

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