Definition of galvanize
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
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
galvanize was our Word of the Day on 04/15/2016. Hear the podcast!
Theme music by Joshua Stamper ©2006 New Jerusalem Music/ASCAP
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
Recent Examples of galvanize from the Web
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A Mississippi lawmaker who said weeks ago that people should be lynched for removing Confederate monuments is now criticizing the vandalism of a historical marker about a lynching that galvanized the civil rights movement.
Although the community has contended with gang violence for years, the murders that galvanized the community were those of 15-year-old Nisa Mickens and 16-year-old Kayla Cuevas.
That 2000 loss to Florida galvanized them in a way victory could not have.
Among residents voting in Genoa was comic Beppe Grillo, a founder of the 5-Star Movement and its galvanizing force.
But Wonder Woman also has immense powers for change, and her ability to galvanize women should not be underestimated.
Not being reduced or ‘emasculated’ by a strong woman and her leadership, but being invigorated, galvanized and challenged to be their best selves …
Which will galvanize us into full-scale war against you.
In 2011, the United Nations struggled to galvanize donors during a famine in East Africa.
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.
The Scientific Origins of galvanize
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).
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).