[ mag-ni-tom-i-ter ]
/ ˌmæg nɪˈtɒm ɪ tər /


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

Origin of magnetometer

First recorded in 1820–30; magneto- + -meter

Related forms

mag·ne·to·met·ric [mag-nee-tuh-me-trik] /mægˌni təˈmɛ trɪk/, adjectivemag·ne·tom·e·try, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for magnetometer

British Dictionary definitions for magnetometer


/ (ˌmæɡnɪˈtɒmɪtə) /


any instrument for measuring the intensity or direction of a magnetic field, esp the earth's field

Derived Forms

magnetometric (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

Science definitions for magnetometer


[ măg′nĭ-tŏmĭ-tər ]

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.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.