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I remember a while ago I heard of something that slowed reactions and was effectively the opposite of a catalyst. What is this called? Also would appreciate examples and an explanation of their uses just for curiosity. (I think the one I heard of was used to prevent spontaneous combustion)

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    $\begingroup$ Also there is "poison" which reduce the effect of catalyst. $\endgroup$ – Nilay Ghosh Jul 22 at 3:59
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    $\begingroup$ Whatever answer you'll get there is not a real opposite of a catalyst. That would mean to force the reaction to take a more difficult path. Obviously, that is not possible from a mechanicist point of view. Still, the overall effect of reducing the reaction rate is a true thing. $\endgroup$ – Alchimista Jul 22 at 7:26
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The opposite of a catalyst is essentially an inhibitor. From IUPAC's gold book Gold book

inhibition: The decrease in rate of reaction brought about by the addition of a substance inhibitor), by virtue of its effect on the concentration of a reactant, catalyst or reaction intermediate. For example, molecular oxygen and p-benzoquinone can react as 'inhibitors' in many reactions involving radicals as intermediates by virtue of their ability to act as scavengers toward these radicals.

Then there is a term called negative catalyst, and there are various opinions as to how they work. Journal of Chemical Education

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