[ gal-vuh-nahyz ]
See synonyms for: galvanizegalvanizedgalvanizinggalvanization on

verb (used with object),gal·va·nized, gal·va·niz·ing.
  1. to stimulate by or as if by a galvanic current.

  2. Medicine/Medical. to stimulate or treat (muscles or nerves) with induced direct current (distinguished from faradize).

  1. to startle into sudden activity; stimulate.

  2. to coat (metal, especially iron or steel) with zinc.

Origin of galvanize

First recorded in 1795–1805; from French galvaniser, named after Luigi Galvani; see -ize
  • Also especially British, gal·va·nise .

Other words for galvanize

Other words from galvanize

  • gal·va·ni·za·tion, noun
  • gal·va·niz·er, noun
  • non·gal·va·nized, adjective
  • pre·gal·va·nize, verb (used with object), pre·gal·va·nized, pre·gal·va·niz·ing.
  • re·gal·va·ni·za·tion, noun
  • re·gal·va·nize, verb (used with object), re·gal·va·nized, re·gal·va·niz·ing.
  • un·gal·va·nized, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use galvanize in a sentence

  • To supply the demand for galvanised signalling and fencing cords, the machines must turn out 15,000 yards of strand per day.

    Showell's Dictionary of Birmingham | Thomas T. Harman and Walter Showell
  • I noticed a large vessel of galvanised iron marked 'Boiled water for drinking purposes.'

    A Woman's Part in a Revolution | Natalie Harris Hammond
  • The chorus of exclamations, which you may allot at choice, ended in laughter as the galvanised circle broke up.

    Somehow Good | William de Morgan
  • She demurs to removal, but goes in the end on condition that all present shall come and see dolly galvanised at an early date.

    Somehow Good | William de Morgan
  • It was after ten o'clock and I was tired, but the presence of the man immediately galvanised me into activity.

British Dictionary definitions for galvanize



/ (ˈɡælvəˌnaɪz) /

  1. to stimulate to action; excite; startle

  2. to cover (iron, steel, etc) with a protective zinc coating by dipping into molten zinc or by electrodeposition

  1. to stimulate by application of an electric current

  1. Caribbean galvanized iron, usually in the form of corrugated sheets as used in roofing

Derived forms of galvanize

  • galvanization or galvanisation, noun
  • galvanizer or 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