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[gal-vuh-nahyz] /ˈgæl vəˌnaɪz/
verb (used with object), galvanized, galvanizing.
to stimulate by or as if by a galvanic current.
Medicine/Medical. to stimulate or treat (muscles or nerves) with induced direct current (distinguished from faradize).
to startle into sudden activity; stimulate.
to coat (metal, especially iron or steel) with zinc.
Also, especially British, galvanise.
Origin of galvanize
1795-1805; < French galvaniser, named after Luigi Galvani; see -ize
Related forms
galvanization, noun
galvanizer, noun
nongalvanized, adjective
pregalvanize, verb (used with object), pregalvanized, pregalvanizing.
regalvanization, noun
regalvanize, verb (used with object), regalvanized, regalvanizing.
ungalvanized, adjective
3. rouse, stir, electrify, fire, spur, animate. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for galvanized
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I prescribed phosphorus and strychnia, and galvanized the brain twice a week.

    The Electric Bath George M. Schweig
  • Eric galvanized his attention and turned with a murmur of apology.

    The Education of Eric Lane Stephen McKenna
  • While meditating on the matter, Conan was galvanized by a sound behind him.

    The Devil in Iron Robert E. Howard
  • In another corner was a galvanized bucket, a broom, and a scrubbing-brush.

    Antony Gray,--Gardener Leslie Moore
  • Figure 52 shows a galvanized iron tank for the same purpose.

    Rural Hygiene Henry N. Ogden
British Dictionary definitions for galvanized


verb (transitive)
to stimulate to action; excite; startle
to cover (iron, steel, etc) with a protective zinc coating by dipping into molten zinc or by electrodeposition
to stimulate by application of an electric current
(Caribbean) galvanized iron, usually in the form of corrugated sheets as used in roofing
Derived Forms
galvanization, galvanisation, noun
galvanizer, galvaniser, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for galvanized



1802, from French galvaniser, from galvanisme (see galvanism). Figurative sense of "excite, stimulate (as if by electricity)" first recorded 1853. Meaning "to coat with metal by means of galvanic electricity" (especially to plate iron with tin, but now typically to plate it with zinc) is from 1839.

He'll swear that in her dancing she cuts all others out,
Though like a Gal that's galvanized, she throws her legs about.
[Thomas Hood, "Love has not Eyes," 1845]
Related: Galvanized; galvanizing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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