Meaning of magnet in English:


Pronunciation /ˈmaɡnɪt/

See synonyms for magnet

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  • 1A piece of iron or other material which has its component atoms so ordered that the material exhibits properties of magnetism, such as attracting other iron-containing objects or aligning itself in an external magnetic field.

    ‘Ferroelectric materials can create an electric field the way iron magnets create a magnetic field.’
    • ‘Understanding more complex substances is the key to designing materials for stronger magnets in order to build more efficient and powerful electrical generators and motors.’
    • ‘Iron, cobalt and nickel are the best known metallic magnets, and their magnetic properties are governed by the conduction electrons that are free to move throughout the metal.’
    • ‘The bar magnet gets its overall magnetization because all of these little component magnets are pointing in the same direction, and add up for an overall effect.’
    • ‘When you picked up the clip with the magnet the clip was accelerated toward the magnet acquiring kinetic energy.’
    • ‘At a synchrotron radiation source, electrons emit radiation as they are guided by magnets around a storage ring.’
    • ‘The spinning protons in the hydrogen nuclei act like tiny magnets and align their spins with or against the magnetic field.’
    • ‘A magnet cannot attract iron, when deeply embedded in mud.’
    • ‘Motors, relays, generators, or simply other magnets or magnetic materials, can all also cause the pointer to move, overpowering the Earth's magnetism.’
    • ‘Samarium-cobalt magnets retain their magnetic properties at high temperatures and are not very reactive.’
    • ‘When a paramagnetic material is placed in a strong magnetic field, it becomes a magnet, and as long as the strong magnetic field is present, it will attract and repel other magnets in the usual way.’
    • ‘If you have a mixture of salt and tiny pieces of iron, you could use a magnet to separate the iron from the mixture.’
    • ‘The main component of the Sun's magnetic field is similar to a bar magnet, with a positive pole and a negative pole.’
    • ‘Now water contains hydrogen atoms, and the nucleus of a hydrogen atom is a tiny magnet.’
    • ‘A spinning superconductor acts like a very weak magnet, with the poles of the magnet precisely aligned with the axis of the spin.’
    • ‘You effectively have a tiny current going around, and when you have a current like that you have a magnetic field - the electron becomes a tiny magnet.’
    • ‘Some of the bottles are equipped with external magnets by which a viewer can manipulate the trapped shapes.’
    • ‘To complete the magnet, the coils were encased in an iron yoke then wrapped in a 40-millimeter-thick aluminum shell.’
    • ‘Three workers, migrants from rural areas, are retrieving waste iron using a magnet on the end of a bamboo pole.’
    • ‘Hutter spinels are strongly magnetic and can be separated from crushed samples of the rock with a hand magnet.’
    lodestone, magnetite
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    1. 1.1A person or thing that has a powerful attraction.
      ‘the beautiful stretch of white sand is a magnet for sun-worshippers’
      • ‘Mansion House was a magnet for the powerful, both native and foreign.’
      • ‘The Italian city of marble and water is a magnet for art-lovers, but culture is not the only attraction.’
      • ‘Over the last few years the Manx isle has become a magnet for top movie producers, who are lured by a variety of landscapes in a compact area and by the financial incentives laid on by the Isle of Man Film Commission.’
      • ‘However, for the organisers, contestants like Laura and those like her are a Godsend, because to say that beauty pageants are a magnet for criticism is an understatement.’
      • ‘But if you know your daredevil friend is a magnet for trouble and you're still drawn to her, it's time to put yourself in check.’
      • ‘Up ahead was a topping of pine trees and somewhere in this was Highcliff Nab, a great nose of sandstone which is a focus for paths and a magnet for travellers.’
      • ‘For several years, the powerful lights that shine from this hotel have been a magnet for plankton, which in turn attracts the manta rays from nearby deep water.’
      • ‘Painted lady and red admiral butterflies, both of which migrated here in early summer, have produced abundant new broods and buddleia blossom is a magnet for their dazzling displays.’
      • ‘Last year concerts took place over 10 weekends, acting as a magnet for music lovers from the region itself and much further afield.’
      • ‘But the empty buildings on Bramham Avenue are claimed to be a magnet for drink and drug-fuelled graffiti, vandalism and anti-social behaviour.’
      • ‘Dartford Council is mounting a three-pronged attack to make Dartford town centre a magnet for shoppers and a realistic option for top retailers to bring a full range of goods and services.’
      • ‘Movies have long been a magnet for scrutiny, hysteria or moral panics, though obviously television now draws much of that dubious attention.’
      • ‘The business boomed as the brothers' reputation for their racetrack achievements grew the family business rapidly becoming a magnet for the motorcycling community.’
      • ‘She allowed her sheltered flat to become a den for drug-taking and drinking, and a magnet for criminals - and yesterday she narrowly avoided eviction.’
      • ‘Home to exquisite beaches, blistering sunshine and the second largest coral reef in the world, Cozumel is also a magnet for serious sun-worshippers and scuba divers.’
      • ‘Because of its trendy college and relatively liberal cadres of lawyers and civil servants, Austin became a magnet for nonconformists.’
      • ‘But it was the 1,000m world record holder's reaction to the victory that served as a magnet for the cameras - he broke down in tears.’
      • ‘Police prepared spreadsheets of crime in the area which, they said, proved the pub was a magnet for trouble, particularly late at night, and the problems were increasing.’
      • ‘The stunning scenery is probably the main reason why it's such a magnet for visitors - the view of the hills is superb, with Ben Vrackie dominating everything around.’
      • ‘Benin City's museum might have been a magnet attracting important pieces in local private hands.’
      attraction, focus, focal point, enticement, pull, crowd-pleaser, draw, lure, allurement, temptation, invitation, fascination
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    2. 1.2
      archaic term for lodestone


Late Middle English (denoting lodestone): from Latin magnes, magnet-, from Greek magnēs lithos ‘lodestone’, probably influenced by Anglo-Norman French magnete (from Latin magnes, magnet-).