Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To stimulate or shock with an electric current.
  • transitive v. To arouse to awareness or action; spur: "Issues that once galvanized the electorate fade into irrelevance” ( Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr.)
  • transitive v. To coat (iron or steel) with rust-resistant zinc.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To coat with a thin layer of metal by electrochemical means; to electroplate.
  • v. To coat with rust-resistant zinc
  • v. To shock or stimulate into sudden activity

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To affect with galvanism; to subject to the action of electrical currents.
  • transitive v. To plate, as with gold, silver, etc., by means of electricity.
  • transitive v. To restore to consciousness by galvanic action (as from a state of suspended animation); hence, to stimulate or excite to a factitious animation or activity.
  • transitive v. To coat, as iron, with zinc. See Galvanized iron.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To subject to the action of an electric or galvanic current, as in medicine.
  • Hence To confer a fictitious vitality upon; give a mechanical semblance of life or vitality to.
  • To plate, as with gold, silver, or other metal, by means of galvanic electricity; electroplate. Also spelled galvanise.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. cover with zinc
  • v. to stimulate to action
  • v. stimulate (muscles) by administering a shock

Etymologies

Galvani +‎ -ize. Galvani was the discoverer of the process. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Perhaps SIV was waiting for some event or announcement to once again galvanize people into marching.

    Your Right Hand Thief

  • Chief Warren Riley and Mayor Ray Nagins call for residents to galvanize is an insult.

    Archive 2008-01-01

  • UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, I am not so much worried as I am excited about by the whole drama of this, and I think in one way it is good for the country because it brings a lot of people and focuses their attention on this, and helps kind of galvanize the whole youth and the rest of ...

    CNN Transcript - Breaking News: Election 2000: Middle Americans Sound Off on Florida Recount - November 10, 2000

  • While the administration aimed to "galvanize" entrepreneurs from Muslim-majority countries, these Muslim upstarts shied away from pigeon-holing into a religious or ethnic category.

    Infidel Bloggers Alliance

  • As opponents of big government converged on what has been billed as the first national tea party convention, organizers hoped the event would further "galvanize" the populist movement and help it gather momentum after a string of recent conservative electoral victories.

    CommonDreams.org Headlines

  • Tea Party convention starting Feb. 4 in Nashville, Tenn., organizers hope the event will "galvanize" the populist movement and help it gather momentum after a string of recent conservative electoral victories.

    ABC News: ABCNews

  • WE CAN'T REVEAL WHO we heard is coming to KL for a show but let's just say that if you're into "block rockin 'beats", there's a hot international duo rumoured to possibly "galvanize" the whole concert scene in Malaysia.

    Junk - Latest Happenings

  • "galvanize" the global community in its efforts to fight the disease.

    ANC Daily News Briefing

  • "galvanize" also means to cover metal with zinc or a zinc alloy to protect from rust (as in galvanized carpentry nails).

    Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day

  • Reid has claimed publicly that Bethel “touches the lives” of some 100,000 Baltimoreans, and city officials take notice of his apparent ability to galvanize his flock behind any chosen candidate or issue.

    American Grace

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Comments

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  • In the usage examples I didn't see the construction "galvanize into" (as in "galvanize into action"), but this seems common.

    November 21, 2009

  • This word derives from the name of the Italian physician/physicist Luigi Galvani (1734–1798), whose research into the effect of electricity applied to dead frog muscles was one of the inspirations of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein.

    December 5, 2007

  • This word is actually an eponym. It belongs on a number of lists.

    November 13, 2007