[From the name of the Italian anatomist Luigi Galvani (1737–98).]
Galvani discovered that electric currents cause muscles to twitch, and so to galvanize somebody is to provoke them into sudden action as though shocked by electricity; the verb can also mean to cover iron with zinc (so producing galvanized iron), because the zinc was at first deposited from solution using a electrical current. Galvanism can refer either to electricity produced by chemical action or to the therapeutic use of electric currents. A device to measure small electric currents is a galvanometer. The usual adjective is galvanic.