Definition of galvanize
1 a : to subject to the action of an electric current especially for the purpose of stimulating physiologically <galvanize a muscle> b : to stimulate or excite as if by an electric shock <an issue that would galvanize public opinion>
2 : to coat (iron or steel) with zinc; especially : to immerse in molten zinc to produce a coating of zinc-iron alloy
: to react as if stimulated by an electric shock <they galvanized into action>
galvanizationplay \ˌgal-və-nə-ˈzā-shən\ noun
galvanizerplay \ˈgal-və-ˌnī-zər\ noun
Examples of galvanize in a sentence
The group is hoping to galvanize public opinion against the proposed law.
The Web site has galvanized support for the project.
a factory where steel is galvanized
Did You Know?
Luigi Galvani was an Italian physician and physicist who, in the 1770s, studied the electrical nature of nerve impulses by applying electrical stimulation to frogs’ leg muscles, causing them to contract. Although Galvani’s theory that animal tissue contained an innate electrical impulse was disproven, the Italian word galvanismo came to describe a current of electricity especially when produced by chemical action. English speakers borrowed the word as "galvanism" in 1797; the verb "galvanize" was introduced in 1802. Charlotte Brontë, in 1853, used the verb figuratively in her novel Villette: "Her approach always galvanized him to new and spasmodic life." These days, "galvanize" also means to cover metal with zinc or a zinc alloy to protect from rust (as in galvanized carpentry nails).
First Known Use of galvanize
GALVANIZE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of galvanize for English Language Learners
: to cause (people) to become so excited or concerned about an issue, idea, etc., that they want to do something about it
: to cause (a force that is capable of causing change) to become active
: to cover (steel or iron) with a layer of zinc to prevent it from rusting
GALVANIZE Defined for Kids
Definition of galvanize for Students
1 : to excite about something so that action is taken <Increasing litter galvanized children to clean up the park.>
2 : to coat with zinc for protection <The steel was galvanized to prevent it from rusting.>
Medical Definition of galvanize
: to subject to the action of an electric current especially for the purpose of stimulating physiologically <galvanize a muscle>
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up galvanize? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).