In multiphase catalysts, the active catalytic material is often present as the minor component dispersed upon a support sometimes called a carrier. The support may be catalytically inert but it may contribute to the overall catalytic activity.
PAC, 1976, 46, 71. 'Manual of Symbols and Terminology for Physicochemical Quantities and Units - Appendix II. Definitions, Terminology and Symbols in Colloid and Surface Chemistry. Part II: Heterogeneous Catalysis' on page 79 (https://doi.org/10.1351/pac197646010071)