American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. Direct-current electricity, especially when produced chemically. Also called voltaism.
- n. Therapeutic application of direct-current electricity, especially the electric stimulation of nerves and muscle.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. That branch of the science of electricity which treats of electric currents more especially as arising from chemical action, as from the combination of metals with acids. The name was given before the identity of this form of electricity and that produced by friction was fully understood: it is now nearly obsolete. See
- n. In medicine, the application of an electric current from a number of cells: in distinction from faradism or the use of a series of brief alternating currents from an induction-coil, and from franklinism or the charging from a frictional or Holtz machine.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. Electricity excited by the mutual action of certain liquids and metals; dynamical electricity.
- n. The branch of physical science which treats of dynamical elecricity, or the properties and effects of electrical currents.
- n. the therapeutic application of electricity to the body (as in the treatment of various forms of paralysis)
- n. electricity produced by chemical action
- From French galvanisme, after physiologist Luigi Alyisio Galvani (1737–1798) + -isme. (Wiktionary)
- After Luigi Galvani. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“This action was long called galvanism, after this observer, not, however, that he was absolutely the first to notice a fact of which he was but a re-discoverer -- Swammerdam as long ago as 1658 having observed such motions.”
“Once he heard a lecture on the impossibility of applying steam navigation to the ocean; at another time he saw the principle of "galvanism" illustrated with a small battery, but the impracticability of its use for industrial purposes on account of the high cost of mercury was pointed out.”
“English speakers borrowed the word as "galvanism" in 1797; the verb "galvanize" was introduced in 1802.”
“On this occasion a man of great research in natural philosophy was with us, and, excited by this catastrophe, he entered on the explanation of a theory which he had formed on the subject of electricity and galvanism, which was at once new and astonishing to me.”
“The power of electricity or of galvanism wasn't as important as their galvanizing aftereffects, the startling fact that these effects staged the human as a radical dis-placement in the world.”
“He even gave himself up, half amused by its bizarre eccentricities, to the influence of this moral galvanism; its phenomena, closely connected with his last thoughts, assured him that he was still alive.”
“Those who saw him felt drawn to him by that attraction of the moral nature which men of science are happily unable to analyze; they would detect in it some phenomenon of galvanism, or the current of I know not what fluid, and express our sentiments in a formula of ratios of oxygen and electricity.”
“Perhaps a corpse would be re-animated; galvanism had given token of such things: perhaps the component parts of a creature might be manufactured, brought together, and endued with vital warmth.”
“On this occasion a man of great research in natural philosophy was with us, and excited by this catastrophe, he entered on the explanation of a theory which he had formed on the subject of electricity and galvanism, which was at once new and astonishing to me.”
“Any part, being subjected to a slight shock of galvanism, became almost black: a similar effect, but in a less degree, was produced by scratching the skin with a needle.”
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