Word of the Day : April 15, 2016

galvanize

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verb GAL-vuh-nyze

Definition

1 : to subject to the action of an electric current especially for the purpose of stimulating physiologically 

2 a : to stimulate or excite as if by an electric shock 

b : to react as if stimulated by an electric shock

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

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).


Examples

The singer was amazed by how her single tweet galvanized so much support from the Twitter community.

"Prime Minister Narendra Modi's new push for accessibility has galvanized a disability rights movement in a country with a notably poor record on inclusive infrastructure." — Rama Lakshmi, The Washington Post, 21 Mar. 2016 



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