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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).
  3. to startle into sudden activity; stimulate.
  4. to coat (metal, especially iron or steel) with zinc.
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Also especially British, gal·va·nise.

Origin of galvanize

1795–1805; < French galvaniser, named after Luigi Galvani; see -ize
Related formsgal·va·ni·za·tion, noungal·va·niz·er, nounnon·gal·va·nized, adjectivepre·gal·va·nize, verb (used with object), pre·gal·va·nized, pre·gal·va·niz·ing.re·gal·va·ni·za·tion, nounre·gal·va·nize, verb (used with object), re·gal·va·nized, re·gal·va·niz·ing.un·gal·va·nized, adjective


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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for galvanization

Historical Examples

  • The Papacy is now a corpse beyond all power of galvanization.

    The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 20, No. 117, July, 1867.


  • Galvanization or faradization of the affected parts may also be employed, and with, occasionally, beneficial effect.

    Essentials of Diseases of the Skin

    Henry Weightman Stelwagon

  • Galvanization of the bladder with an intravesical electrode is sometimes of service to strengthen its capacity for contraction.

    Fat and Blood

    S. Weir Mitchell

  • He was ordered two weeks' rest in bed, with massage, cool sponging daily, and galvanization of the areas of neuralgia.

    Fat and Blood

    S. Weir Mitchell

  • Galvanization from supra-orbital foramen to nape stopped the pain in five minutes.

British Dictionary definitions for galvanization



verb (tr)
  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
  3. to stimulate by application of an electric current
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  1. Caribbean galvanized iron, usually in the form of corrugated sheets as used in roofing
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Derived Formsgalvanization or galvanisation, noungalvanizer 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

Word Origin and History for galvanization


1798, noun of action from galvanize.

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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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper