galvanize

verb
gal·​va·​nize | \ ˈgal-və-ˌnīz How to pronounce galvanize (audio) \
galvanized; galvanizing

Essential Meaning of galvanize

1 : to cause (people) to become so excited or concerned about an issue, idea, etc., that they want to do something about it an issue that galvanized the public (to take action)
2 : to cause (a force that is capable of causing change) to become active The group is hoping to galvanize public opinion against the proposed law. The Web site has galvanized support for the project.
3 technical : to cover (steel or iron) with a layer of zinc to prevent it from rusting a factory where steel is galvanized

Full Definition of galvanize

transitive verb

1a : 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

intransitive verb

: to react as if stimulated by an electric shock they galvanized into action

Other Words from galvanize

galvanization \ ˌgal-​və-​nə-​ˈzā-​shən How to pronounce galvanize (audio) \ noun
galvanizer \ ˈgal-​və-​ˌnī-​zər How to pronounce galvanize (audio) \ noun

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 French word galvanisme came to describe a current of electricity especially when produced by chemical action. English borrowed the word as galvanism, and shortly after the verb galvanize came to life.

Examples of galvanize in a Sentence

The group is hoping to galvanize public opinion against the proposed law. The website has galvanized support for the project. a factory where steel is galvanized
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Recent Examples on the Web To have a little ability to potentially galvanize our country is humbling, very humbling. Chloe Melas, CNN, 29 Dec. 2021 Her ability to galvanize people was also apparent when, in eighth grade, Habte organized a community service project at her Girl Scouts chapter. Los Angeles Times, 10 Dec. 2021 The policy change is intended to galvanize the small minority of people in Singapore who are still unvaccinated. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, 9 Nov. 2021 Robinson was among the civil rights marchers beaten and gassed on the Edmund Pettus Bridge on Bloody Sunday, March 7, 1965, a day that helped galvanize support for the Voting Rights Act passed by Congress later that year. Mike Cason | Mcason@al.com, al, 8 Nov. 2021 Like the many world leaders, business titans, scientists and climate advocates looking to enact change at COP26, Wade hopes to galvanize the travel and tourism industry. Robert Reiss, Forbes, 4 Nov. 2021 Earlier in the day, the president emphasized innovation of new technologies, and the adoption of existing ones, to galvanize the fight against climate change. Libby Cathey, ABC News, 2 Nov. 2021 The climate summit that is about to begin in Glasgow marks the world’s latest attempt to galvanize nations’ response to climate change and improve on international efforts of the past few decades. Peter Santilli, WSJ, 30 Oct. 2021 The most potent answer in recent years has been: focus attention on an enemy to galvanize the party. Damon Linker, The Week, 28 Oct. 2021

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

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First Known Use of galvanize

1802, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for galvanize

borrowed from French galvaniser, from Luigi galvani (who conducted pioneering experiments in bioelectricity) + -iser -ize

Note: See note at galvanism.

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Time Traveler for galvanize

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The first known use of galvanize was in 1802

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Dictionary Entries Near galvanize

galvanism

galvanize

galvanized

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Statistics for galvanize

Last Updated

9 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Galvanize.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/galvanize. Accessed 17 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for galvanize

galvanize

verb
gal·​va·​nize | \ ˈgal-və-ˌnīz How to pronounce galvanize (audio) \
galvanized; galvanizing

Kids Definition of galvanize

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.

galvanize

transitive verb
gal·​va·​nize
variants: or British galvanise \ ˈgal-​və-​ˌnīz How to pronounce galvanize (audio) \
galvanized or British galvanised; galvanizing or British galvanising

Medical Definition of galvanize

: to subject to the action of an electric current especially for the purpose of stimulating physiologically galvanize a muscle

More from Merriam-Webster on galvanize

Nglish: Translation of galvanize for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of galvanize for Arabic Speakers

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