from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A slender bar of magnetized steel usually suspended on a low-friction mounting and used in various instruments, especially in the magnetic compass, to indicate the direction of the earth's magnetic poles.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- adj. a slender bar of steel, magnetized and suspended at its center on a sharp-pointed pivot, or by a delicate fiber, so that it may take freely the direction of the magnetic meridian. It constitutes the essential part of a compass, such as the mariner's and the surveyor's.
- n. A slender magnet suspended in a magnetic compass on a low-friction mounting; used to indicate the direction of the earth's magnetic pole.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. a slender magnet suspended in a magnetic compass on a mounting with little friction; used to indicate the direction of the earth's magnetic pole
Sorry, no etymologies found.
According to Kireher he drew up the first chart for the Atlantic and Indian Oceans showing the spots where the magnetic needle makes the same angles with themeridian; in this he is to be regarded as the forerunner of Halley.