galvanize-definition

galvanize

play
verb gal·va·nize \ˈgal-və-ˌnīz\

Definition of galvanize

galvanized

;

galvanizing

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1a :  to subject to the action of an electric current especially for the purpose of stimulating physiologically galvanize a muscleb :  to stimulate or excite as if by an electric shock an issue that would galvanize public opinion

  3. 2 :  to coat (iron or steel) with zinc; especially :  to immerse in molten zinc to produce a coating of zinc-iron alloy

  4. intransitive verb
  5. :  to react as if stimulated by an electric shock they galvanized into action

galvanization

play \ˌgal-və-nə-ˈzā-shən\ noun

galvanizer

play \ˈgal-və-ˌnī-zər\ noun

galvanize was our Word of the Day on 04/15/2016. Hear the podcast!

Examples of galvanize in a Sentence

  1. The group is hoping to galvanize public opinion against the proposed law.

  2. The Web site has galvanized support for the project.

  3. a factory where steel is galvanized

Recent Examples of galvanize from the Web

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.

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 around 1797; the verb galvanize appeared a few years later, in the early 19th century. Charlotte Brontë used the verb figuratively in her 1853 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 it from rust (as in galvanized carpentry nails).

Origin and Etymology of galvanize

borrowed from French galvaniser, from Luigi Galvani (who conducted pioneering experiments in bioelectricity) + -iser -ize See note at galvinism.


First Known Use: 1802


GALVANIZE Defined for English Language Learners

galvanize-definition

galvanize

play
verb

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

galvanize

play
verb gal·va·nize \ˈgal-və-ˌnīz\

Definition of galvanize for Students

galvanized

;

galvanizing

  1. 1 :  to excite about something so that action is taken Increasing litter galvanized children to clean up the park.

  2. 2 :  to coat with zinc for protection The steel was galvanized to prevent it from rusting.


Medical Dictionary

galvanize

transitive verb gal·va·nize
variants: or British

galvanise

\ˈgal-və-ˌnīz\play

Medical Definition of galvanize

galvanized

or British

galvanised

;

galvanizing

or British

galvanising

  1. :  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).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

WORD OF THE DAY

the point at which something begins

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

  • istock-refers-to-this-as-a-tumble-of-strawberries-which-sounded-pretty-nice-to-us
  • Which is a synonym of garner?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

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!