Definition of galvanize in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈɡalvəˌnīz/


[with object]
1Shock or excite (someone), typically into taking action: the urgency of his voice galvanized them into action
More example sentences
  • No sense of shock galvanizes the audience when we witness the details of her murder before he learns of it.
  • But by galvanizing Americans around hydrogen fuel cell cars and retrofitting American gas stations to carry hydrogen, he offers a practical way to counter the financial power of terrorism.
  • As your job in the United Nations Humanitarian Agency, it's your job to galvanize the people, to get their attention, to get them to take the money out of their pocket.
jolt, shock, startle, impel, stir, spur, prod, urge, motivate, stimulate, electrify, excite, rouse, arouse, awaken;
invigorate, fire, animate, vitalize, energize, exhilarate, thrill, catalyze, inspire, light a fire under
informal give someone a shot in the arm
2 (often as adjective galvanized) Coat (iron or steel) with a protective layer of zinc: an old galvanized bucket
More example sentences
  • The primary use of zinc is in galvanizing other metals, especially iron and steel.
  • Zinc is used largely to galvanise iron and steel.
  • Gutters on older homes may be wood, galvanized sheet metal, or copper.



Pronunciation: /ˌɡalv(ə)nəˈzāSH(ə)n/
Pronunciation: /ˌɡalvəˌnīˈzāSH(ə)n/
Example sentences
  • Instead, it became a liability, a disheartening battle of egos between its figureheads and led to attendant galvanization along the lines of high culture versus low among the population at large.
  • During galvanization, a coat of melted zinc is applied directly to the steel, protecting it from corrosion.
  • The purpose of galvanization is to protect the underlying metal from corrosion.


Example sentences
  • As director of Highland Metals, one of only several galvanisers left in Scotland, he is convinced that local authorities are missing a trick in reducing their maintenance costs for steel infrastructure around the country.
  • If you can't bring yourselves to tell the truth to the people, then you have no business presenting yourselves as educators, writers, galvanizers.
  • With the knowledge that architectural appearance is required, the galvanizer can take extra care to achieve uniform appearance and normal coating weight.


Early 19th century (in the sense 'stimulate by electricity'): from French galvaniser (see Galvani, Luigi).

  • Galvanize was first used to mean ‘to stimulate a muscle or nerve by electricity’. It was based on the name of the Italian scientist Luigi Galvani (1737–98), who discovered that frogs' legs twitched violently when he ran electricity through them. Galvani believed that such convulsions were caused by ‘animal electricity’ found in the body, an idea that inspired Mary Shelley to write Frankenstein in 1818. To galvanize iron or steel is to coat it with a layer of zinc to stop it from rusting, originally done by means of an electrical current.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: gal·va·nize

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