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energize, v.

Forms:  16– energize, 17– energise. (Show Less)
Frequency (in current use): 
Etymology: < energy n. + -ize suffix.
Compare slightly earlier energate v.

1. intransitive. To engage in work or activity; to be in active operation; to exercise one's faculties or powers. Obsolete.

1651   J. Ellistone tr. J. Böhme Signatura Rerum vi. 39   In the inward Worlds property, where the Desire doth Energize [Ger. qualificiret] in the property of the free Lubet, this Desire is called the divine Desire.
1752   H. Fielding Amelia IV. xi. v. 163   The same Passion cannot much energize on two different Objects at one and the same Time.
1797   Monthly Mag. Suppl. No. 19, 20 July 515/1   The intelligible Iynges possess intellection themselves from the Father, so far as they energize intellectually, being moved by ineffable counsels.
a1863   R. Whately Misc. Remains (1864) 23   In attending to an interesting play..we can energise without much fatigue.
1871   J. A. Froude in Rep. & Trans. Devonshire Assoc. 4 20   We have no reason to believe that in the past condition of the earth..there were functions energizing of which we have no modern counterparts.
1908   Westm. Gaz. 11 Dec. 2/1   The stray Tories who chanced to go with the Liberal tide in 1906, and who now energise on the Liberal benches.
1922   J. Y. Simpson Man & Attainm. Immortality i. 8   Theology..must in some degree be a knowledge of the world as an expression of God, and of Him as energising in and through it.

1651—1922(Hide quotations)


 2. transitive. To rouse into activity; to put to work or effect; to exercise. Also: to give effectiveness to; to endow with the capacity to do something; to empower. Now rare except as in sense 4a.

1753   J. Collier Ess. Art of Tormenting ii. iii. 136   Who from a desire of energizing this his favourite affection, has attached himself to an artful cunning man.
1794   H. L. Piozzi Brit. Synonymy I. 319   Genius cannot energize its powers unless a certain portion of knowledge be provided.
1812   G. Chalmers Hist. View Domest. Econ. Great Brit. & Ireland Pref. 9   The office of Inspector-General was greatly improved, and energized, during the first administration of Mr. Pitt.
1841   Lancet 17 Apr. 40/1   In them [sc. the veins] the blood is..so far depraved as to be unfit for energising the body.
1936   Brit. Musician & Musical News Aug. 182/1   Our creative faculty is not at our command... Thus it is that ideas energise their own expression.
1976   New Orleans Rev. 5 182/1   The tangential essays of a writer still unsure of how to energize his formidable talent.

1753—1976(Hide quotations)


 3. transitive. Physics. To increase the energy of (a body or system); (in later use) esp. to impart energy to (matter, esp. a particle); to cause (a particle) to move into a higher energy state.

?1865   Z. Colburn in Z. Colburn et al. Locomotive Engin. (1871) iv. 117/2   Whether a body be heated by thermal conduction, or compressed or abraded by mechanical force, it is both heated and energized.
1906   U.S. Patent 829,841 5/1   The combination of an operating-shaft, spring mechanism for storing up energy to rotate said shaft,..an electric motor for energizing said spring, [etc.].
1953   Mod. Power & Engin. May 88/1   ‘A conservative system’ is energized by having work performed on it.
1987   Proc. Amer. Philos. Soc. 131 1   The crab [nebulae] and other powerful energy sources which not only create the light we observe, but which also energize matter.
2008   H. Blitzer et al. Understanding Forensic Digital Imaging xiv. 257   When a photon of the right wavelength..is absorbed, it will energize an electron to the point of being set free from the matrix [of the silicon crystal].

?1865—2008(Hide quotations)


 a. transitive. To supply (a device, machine, etc.) with energy, esp. in the form of electricity; to cause (a device, machine, etc.) to begin operating by doing this; to power up; to activate.

1872   T. A. Edison U.S. Patent 130,795   When the electro-magnet is energized by a powerful current the induced magnetic pole will act with a proportionate power in the opposite direction.
1908   V. Karapetoff Exper. Electr. Engin. xxxi. 723   The contactors..on all cars of a train are operated from two train wires, either of which may be energized from the master controller.
1917   Gas Power Aug. 54/2   The P. S. E. plug energizer..is an ingenious use of the well-known ‘spark gap’ often used for energizing the electrical current at the spark plugs of automobiles and tractors.
1950   A. E. van Vogt Voy. of Space Beagle xii. 111   Inside the control room,..he threw the switch that energized the outer screen of the ship.
2015   A. Axelrod Lost Destiny 234   In the event that a spurious FM signal accidentally energized the arming circuit.

1872—2015(Hide quotations)


 b. intransitive. Of a device, machine, etc.: to acquire the energy required for operation; to become energized (energized adj. 3).

1919   Proc. Amer. Inst. Electr. Engineers 37 1355   When the magnet energizes, it withdraws the pawl so that it catches the next tooth on the ratchet wheel.
1999   Mech. Engin. June 34/3   When all voltages are acceptable, the output relay energizes and a light-emitting diode indicator lights green.
2008   Machine Design (Nexis) 24 Apr. 78   The relay energizes when the switch closes and de-energizes when reopened.

1919—2008(Hide quotations)


 5. transitive. To infuse, fill, or supply with vigour, dynamism, or enthusiasm; to invigorate, to vitalize; to stimulate.

1876   J. R. Lowell Among my Bks. 2nd Ser. 243   These are the natural jets and elations of a mind energized by the rapidity of its own motion.
1922   N.Y. Times 7 Jan. 15/6   The aims of the campaign are to..restore consumer confidence and energize retail buying.
1957   Hammond (Indiana) Times 14 May 19/5   Pills to ‘energize’ the mind are the latest goal of some new psychiatric research... Energizers would be used to give a lift to the tired and depressed individual.
1972   CORD News 4 7   Specific movement work for energizing the body and releasing tensions.
2004   Healthy Sept. 13/2   Laughing helps muscles to relax, reduces the stress hormone cortisol,..and totally energizes you.
2017   Daily Mail (Nexis) 21 Apr.   The embattled Labour leader sought to energise his supporters by delivering a Left-wing speech dripping with class envy.

1876—2017(Hide quotations)




  ˌenergiˈzation   n.

1811   Examiner 22 Sept. 615/2   Negroes are equally capable [with Socrates] of energization in intellect and morals.
1867   London, Edinb., & Dublin Philos. Mag. 4th Ser. 33 48   The process of energization must in general be indicated, not by the mere apposition of an asterisk, but of brackets and asterisk.
1975   Physics Bull. Sept. 394/3   Such magnets have short energization times, linear field-current characteristics and low remnant fields.
2013   Herald (Glasgow) 26 July 8/1   Scottish Hydro Electric Transmission..yesterday marked the ‘energisation’ of the north section of the 137-mile Beauly/Denny power line.

1811—2013(Hide quotations)


This entry has been updated (OED Third Edition, June 2018).

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