The acceleration of a chemical transformation at one site of a molecular entity through the involvement of another functional ('catalytic') group in the same molecular entity, without that group appearing to have undergone change in the reaction product. The use of the term should be restricted to cases for which analogous intermolecular catalysis by chemical species bearing that catalytic group is observable. intramolecular catalysis can be detected and expressed in quantitative form by a comparison of the reaction rate with that of a comparable model compound in which the catalytic group is absent, or by measurement of the effective molarity of the catalytic group.
See also: neighbouring group participation
PAC, 1994, 66, 1077. 'Glossary of terms used in physical organic chemistry (IUPAC Recommendations 1994)' on page 1126 (https://doi.org/10.1351/pac199466051077)