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galvanize

The verb galvanize means to stimulate or incite someone into taking action. Your impassioned speech might galvanize the other members of the Ecology Club to start a school-wide recycling initiative.

The word galvanize initially meant "to stimulate muscles by administering electric shocks." It was coined to honor the 18th-century scientist Luigi Galvani, who found that a spark could make a frog's legs move. This discovery of "animal electricity" inspired Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, (a novel in which a mad scientist attempts to use electricity to galvanize a monster to life). Galvanize also means to cover steel or iron with zinc so it doesn’t rust.

Definitions of galvanize
  1. verb
    stimulate (muscles) by administering a shock
    synonyms: galvanise
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    type of:
    shock
    subject to electrical shocks
  2. verb
    stimulate to action
    galvanized into action”
    synonyms: galvanise, startle
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    type of:
    ball over, blow out of the water, floor, shock, startle, take aback
    surprise greatly; knock someone's socks off
  3. verb
    cover with zinc
    galvanize steel”
    synonyms: galvanise
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    type of:
    coat, surface
    put a coat on; cover the surface of; furnish with a surface
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