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

  • adj. Of or relating to direct-current electricity, especially when produced chemically.
  • adj. Having the effect of an electric shock: a galvanic revelation.
  • adj. Produced as if by an electric shock: The new leader had a galvanic effect on our morale.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Of or pertaining to galvanism; electric

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Of or pertaining to, or exhibiting the phenomena of, galvanism; employing or producing electrical currents.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Pertaining to galvanism, or current electricity as produced by a chemical battery (see electricity): same as voltaic, a word in more common use.
  • Spasmodic, like the movements of a limb produced by a current of electricity: as, a galvanic start.

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

  • adj. affected by emotion as if by electricity; thrilling
  • adj. pertaining to or producing electric current by chemical action


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

galvan(ism) + -ic.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From French galvanique, after physiologist Luigi Alyisio Galvani (1737–1798) + -ique.


  • If we take, for example, sulphuric acid and zinc and make what we call a galvanic battery, we see that from two chemical substances a third — a salt — is made in addition to which we have a peculiar energy produced called electricity.

    Manhood of Humanity.

  • But music has a whole host of other effects on the human body, from skin galvanic levels to production of various hormones and other chemical facilitators.

    2007 February « Hyperpat’s HyperDay

  • Beth McMullian will lead participants in a hands on electronics workshop where participants will built a primitive lie detector known as the galvanic skin response meter.

    The Full Feed from

  • There's also some risk of a painful interaction if it's placed next to an existing amalgam filling called a galvanic shock.

    The Full Feed from

  • The software then sends signals to the body and receives responses back using the same technology used in lie detectors, called galvanic skin response (GSR).


  • _ But when I set this definition alongside the case of an otherwise intelligent man carrying in his trousers 'pocket a raw potato as a protection against rheumatism, and alongside the case of another man carrying in his vest pocket a piece of brimstone to prevent him taking cramp in the stomach; and when I consider the case of ladies wearing earrings as a preventive against, or cure for, sore eyes; and, again, when I remembered a practice, very frequent a few years ago, of people wearing what were known as galvanic rings in the belief that these would prevent their suffering from rheumatism, I could not perceive any direct connection between such superstitious practices and religion, and the construction of a new definition was rendered necessary.

    Folk Lore Superstitious Beliefs in the West of Scotland within This Century

  • _Coeteris paribus_ -- all the other usual conditions being observed, such as silence, the fixed gaze, monotony of attention -- let the galvanic disk be put aside, and in its place let a sixpence or a fourpenny-piece be employed, or indeed any similar small object on which the eyes of the patient must remain fixed for the usual space of time, and we will promise that the experiments thus made shall be equally successful with those in which the so-called galvanic disk is employed.

    Chambers's Edinburgh Journal, No. 446 Volume 18, New Series, July 17, 1852

  • Stand alone she could not, but she leaned against the wall, and her head fell on her shoulder, her fingers were intertwined together, and she moved them about with a kind of galvanic agitation.

    The International Magazine, Volume 2, No. 3, February, 1851

  • In such a part no mannerism can seem unnatural, and the image with its solemn mask lives in a kind of galvanic life of its own, seductively, with some mocking suggestion of his "cousin the snake."

    Plays, Acting and Music A Book Of Theory

  • From these facts the new form of electricity was sometimes called "galvanic" and sometimes "voltaic" electricity, but in recent years the term "galvanism" and "galvanic current" have almost entirely supplanted the use of the term voltaic.

    A History of Science: in Five Volumes. Volume III: Modern development of the physical sciences


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  • ... or nostalgic for the era of galvanism.

    November 20, 2011

  • "George Forster was hung at 8am on 18th January 1803 at Newgate Prison, for the drowning of his wife and youngest child in the Paddington Canal. After hanging for an hour in sub-zero temperatures, Aldini procured the body and began his galvanic experiments."

    On the first application of the process to the face, the jaws of the deceased criminal began to quiver, and the adjoining muscles were horribly contorted, and one eye was actually opened. In the subsequent part of the process the right hand was raised and clenched, and the legs and thighs were set in motion. Mr Pass, the beadle of the Surgeons’ Company, who was officially present during this experiment, was so alarmed that he died of fright soon after his return home."

    - source is Galvanic Reanimation of the Dead, a page and indeed site offbeat and clunky enough to make me nostalgic for Geocities.

    November 20, 2011