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galvanize

[gal-vuh-nahyz]
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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

Synonyms

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3. rouse, stir, electrify, fire, spur, animate.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for galvanize

galvanize

galvanise

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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noun
  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 galvanize

v.

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