magnet

[mag-nit]

noun

a body, as a piece of iron or steel, that possesses the property of attracting certain substances, as iron.
a lodestone.
a thing or person that attracts: The park was a magnet for pickpockets and muggers.

Nearby words

  1. magnesium peroxide,
  2. magnesium salicylate,
  3. magnesium silicate,
  4. magnesium sulfate,
  5. magnesium trisilicate,
  6. magnet school,
  7. magnet steel,
  8. magnet-,
  9. magnetar,
  10. magnetic

Origin of magnet

1400–50; late Middle English magnete < Latin magnēta < Greek mágnēta, accusative of mágnēs, short for () Mágnēs (líthos) (the stone) of Magnesia

Related formscoun·ter·mag·net, noun

Can be confusedmagnate magnet

magnet-

variant of magneto- before some vowels: magneton.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for magnet


British Dictionary definitions for magnet

magnet

noun

a body that can attract certain substances, such as iron or steel, as a result of a magnetic field; a piece of ferromagnetic substanceSee also electromagnet
a person or thing that exerts a great attraction

Word Origin for magnet

C15: via Latin from Greek magnēs, shortened from ho Magnēs lithos the Magnesian stone. See magnesia

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for magnet

magnet

n.

mid-15c. (earlier magnes, late 14c.), from Old French magnete "magnetite, magnet, lodestone," and directly from Latin magnetum (nominative magnes) "lodestone," from Greek ho Magnes lithos "the Magnesian stone," from Magnesia, region in Thessaly where magnetized ore was obtained. Figurative use from 1650s. It has spread from Latin to most Western European languages (cf. German and Danish magnet, Dutch magneet, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese magnete), but it was superseded in French by aimant. Also cf. magnesia. Chick magnet attested from 1989.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Science definitions for magnet

magnet

[măgnĭt]

A material or object that produces a magnetic field. Lodestones are natural magnets, though many materials, especially metals, can be made into magnets by exposing them to a magnetic field. See also electromagnet ferromagnetism magnetic pole. See Note at magnetism.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Culture definitions for magnet

magnet

An object that attracts iron and some other materials. Magnets are said to generate a magnetic field around themselves. Every magnet has two poles, called the north and south poles. Magnetic poles exert forces on each other in such a way that like poles repel and unlike poles attract each other. A compass is a small magnet that is affected by the magnetic field of the Earth in such a way that it points to a magnetic pole of the Earth. (See magnetic field and magnetism.)

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.