Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun An object that is surrounded by a magnetic field and that has the property, either natural or induced, of attracting iron or steel.
  • noun An electromagnet.
  • noun A person, a place, an object, or a situation that exerts attraction.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A body which possesses the property of attracting fragments of iron or steel, and which, when freely suspended, tends, under the action of the earth, to take a certain definite position, pointing approximately north and south.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun The loadstone; a species of iron ore (the ferrosoferric or magnetic ore, Fe3O4) which has the property of attracting iron and some of its ores, and, when freely suspended, of pointing to the poles; -- called also natural magnet.
  • noun (Physics) A bar or mass of steel or iron to which the peculiar properties of the loadstone have been imparted; -- called, in distinction from the loadstone, an artificial magnet.
  • noun (Physics & Elec.) a magnet used for producing and maintaining a magnetic field; -- used especially of the stationary or exciting magnet of a dynamo or electromotor in distinction from that of the moving portion or armature.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A piece of material that attracts some metals by magnetism.
  • noun informal, figuratively, preceded by a noun A person or thing that attracts what is denoted by the preceding noun.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a characteristic that provides pleasure and attracts
  • noun (physics) a device that attracts iron and produces a magnetic field

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English, from Old French magnete, from Latin magnēs, magnēt-, from Greek Magnēs (lithos), Magnesian (stone), magnet, after Magnēsiā, a region of Thessaly, or Magnēsiā, a city in ancient Lydia.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From the Greek μαγνήτης λίθος (magnítis líthos), magnesian stone.

Examples

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