galvanism

noun
gal·va·nism | \ˈgal-və-ˌni-zəm \

Definition of galvanism 

1 : a direct current of electricity especially when produced by chemical action

2 : the therapeutic use of direct electric current (as for pain relief)

3 : vital or forceful activity

Examples of galvanism in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Writing her imaginary story of a being jolted to life by Victor Frankenstein, Mary drew on the cutting-edge science of her time, including galvanism and electricity. The Economist, "Frankenstein: the monster that never dies," 17 Feb. 2018 Instead galvanism led to life-saving interventions—the pacemaker and the defibrillator among them. Charles Kenny, Slate Magazine, "What Frankenstein Has to Do With Anti-Vaxxers," 16 Jan. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'galvanism.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of galvanism

1797, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for galvanism

borrowed from French galvanisme, from Luigi galvani (who conducted pioneering experiments in bioelectricity) + -isme -ism

Note: The French words galvanisme and galvaniser were apparently introduced by Alexander von humboldt in a letter, dated January 24, 1796 ("Lettre de F. Humboldt à M. Pictet … sur lʼinfluence de lʼacide muriatique oxygené et sur lʼirritabilité de la fibre organisée, lue a lʼInstitut national"), published in the Magasin encyclopédique, ou Journal des sciences, des lettres et des arts (Lʼan quatrième [1795],) pp. 462-72. In a footnote Humboldt states "Les mots de galvanisme, galvaniser, dont je me sert, sont formés dʼaprès ceux de magnétisme, magnétiser. Ils sont recommendables pour sa briéveté." ("The words galvanism, galvanize, which I make use of, are modeled on magnetism, magnetize. They are commendable for their conciseness.")

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about galvanism

Statistics for galvanism

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for galvanism

The first known use of galvanism was in 1797

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for galvanism

galvanism

noun
gal·va·nism | \ˈgal-və-ˌniz-əm \

Medical Definition of galvanism 

1 : a direct current of electricity especially when produced by chemical action (as in a storage battery)

2 : the therapeutic use of direct electric current (as to relieve pain)

More from Merriam-Webster on galvanism

See words that rhyme with galvanism

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about galvanism

Comments on galvanism

What made you want to look up galvanism? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

a generally accepted meaning of a word

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Great Scrabble Words—A Quiz

  • scrabble-tiles-that-read-scrabble-quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!