• synonyms


  1. an instrument for measuring the intensity of a magnetic field, especially the earth's magnetic field.
  2. an instrument for detecting the presence of ferrous or magnetic materials, especially one used to detect concealed weapons at airports.
Show More

Origin of magnetometer

First recorded in 1820–30; magneto- + -meter
Related formsmag·ne·to·met·ric [mag-nee-tuh-me-trik] /mægˌni təˈmɛ trɪk/, adjectivemag·ne·tom·e·try, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for magnetometer

Historical Examples

  • Or the magnetometer we use to keep a check on Earth's magnetic field.

    Where I Wasn't Going

    Walt Richmond

  • The magnetisation, or the molecular effect, is measured by the deflection of the magnetometer.

  • We find him also comparing magnets by what is known to us as the "magnetometer method."

    Makers of Electricity

    Brother Potamian

  • One of the losses was a heavy case which formed the packing of part of the magnetometer.

  • When making the deflection experiment the magnetometer is arranged as shown in fig. 2.

British Dictionary definitions for magnetometer


  1. any instrument for measuring the intensity or direction of a magnetic field, esp the earth's field
Show More
Derived Formsmagnetometric (ˌmæɡnɪtəʊˈmɛtrɪk), adjectivemagnetometry, noun
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

magnetometer in Science


  1. An instrument for measuring the magnitude and direction of a magnetic field. Magnetometers are often used in archaeological and geological investigations to determine the intensity and direction of the Earth's magnetic field at various times in the past by examining the strength and direction of magnetization of ferromagnetic materials in different geological strata. See also magnetic reversal.
Show More
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.