Part of speech: verb
Origin: French, early 19th century
Shock or excite (someone) into taking action.
Coat (iron or steel) with a protective layer of zinc.
Examples of Galvanize in a sentence
"Toronto Raptors star Kawhi Leonard galvanized Canada into basketball fandom."
"The strength Eleanor needed to lift her grandchildren surprised her, and galvanized her to start going to the gym."
Popularity Over Time
“Galvanize” comes from the French “galvaniser,” meaning “stimulate by electricity,” named for Italian physician Luigi Galvani.
Did you Know?
In 1792, Italian physician and physicist Luigi Galvani helped develop the idea of “bioelectromechanics,” the relationship between magnetic/electrical forces and biological subjects like cells and tissues. Galvani gave his name to “galvanism,” the process of generating electricity from chemical sources. This electrical connection is the basis of the modern definitions of “galvanize.” The word can refer to both the literal and figurative human experience of being shocked or excited into taking action, as well as to the chemical practice of using an electric charge to coat metal with a thin layer of protective zinc.