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Alternative forms[edit]


From French galvaniser, from galvanisme, named after Italian physiologist Luigi Aloisio Galvani (1737–1798).


  • IPA(key): /ˈɡælvənaɪ̯z/
  • (file)


galvanize (third-person singular simple present galvanizes, present participle galvanizing, simple past and past participle galvanized) (transitive)

  1. (chemistry) To coat with a thin layer of metal by electrochemical means.
    Synonyms: electroplate, (rare) zinc
  2. To coat with rust-resistant zinc.
    to galvanize steel
  3. (figuratively) To shock or stimulate into sudden activity, as if by electric shock.
    Synonyms: animate, startle, urge
    The girl’s picture helped galvanize public opinion against the administration’s policy.
    Republicans are hoping a proposed gas-tax repeal will galvanize their voters.
    • 2017, BioWare, Mass Effect: Andromeda (Science Fiction), Redwood City: Electronic Arts, OCLC 1261299044, PC, scene: Angara: The Resistance Codex entry:
      The arrival of the kett stunned and then divided the angara. As described by Jaal, infighting was used as a means of conquest by the kett, but the presence of a common enemy eventually galvanized the angara to work together. The various resistance groups merged into the organized Angaran Resistance roughly five years ago under Evfra de Tershaav's command, supported by prominent families and determined to stop their kett oppressors.
  4. (archaic) To electrify.
    • 1835, Thomas Babington Macaulay, History (essay in the Edinburgh Review)
      The agitations resembled the grinnings and writhings of a galvanized corpse, not the struggles of an athletic man.
  5. (historical, US) To switch sides between Union and Confederate in the American Civil War.
    • 1998, Tony Horwitz, Confederates in the Attic, 1st Vintage Departures edition, Vintage Books, →ISBN, page 10:
      Reenactors called this “galvanizing,” the Civil War term for soldiers who switched sides during the conflict.

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Related terms[edit]





  1. first-person singular present subjunctive of galvanizar
  2. third-person singular present subjunctive of galvanizar
  3. first-person singular imperative of galvanizar
  4. third-person singular imperative of galvanizar