galvanism

noun gal·va·nism \ ˈgal-və-ˌni-zəm \
Updated on: 11 Sep 2017

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

Origin and Etymology of 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.")


Medical Dictionary

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)

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