Definition of magnet in English:



  • 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.

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Now water contains hydrogen atoms, and the nucleus of a hydrogen atom is a tiny magnet.’
    • ‘Three workers, migrants from rural areas, are retrieving waste iron using a magnet on the end of a bamboo pole.’
    • ‘The main component of the Sun's magnetic field is similar to a bar magnet, with a positive pole and a negative pole.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Ferroelectric materials can create an electric field the way iron magnets create a magnetic field.’
    • ‘Samarium-cobalt magnets retain their magnetic properties at high temperatures and are not very reactive.’
    • ‘A spinning superconductor acts like a very weak magnet, with the poles of the magnet precisely aligned with the axis of the spin.’
    • ‘Some of the bottles are equipped with external magnets by which a viewer can manipulate the trapped shapes.’
    • ‘A magnet cannot attract iron, when deeply embedded in mud.’
    • ‘To complete the magnet, the coils were encased in an iron yoke then wrapped in a 40-millimeter-thick aluminum shell.’
    • ‘When you picked up the clip with the magnet the clip was accelerated toward the magnet acquiring kinetic energy.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘If you have a mixture of salt and tiny pieces of iron, you could use a magnet to separate the iron from the mixture.’
    • ‘Motors, relays, generators, or simply other magnets or magnetic materials, can all also cause the pointer to move, overpowering the Earth's magnetism.’
    • ‘Hutter spinels are strongly magnetic and can be separated from crushed samples of the rock with a hand magnet.’
    • ‘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.’
    lodestone, magnetite
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A person or thing that has a powerful attraction.
      ‘the beautiful stretch of white sand is a magnet for sun-worshippers’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Benin City's museum might have been a magnet attracting important pieces in local private hands.’
      • ‘Mansion House was a magnet for the powerful, both native and foreign.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The business boomed as the brothers' reputation for their racetrack achievements grew the family business rapidly becoming a magnet for the motorcycling community.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Because of its trendy college and relatively liberal cadres of lawyers and civil servants, Austin became a magnet for nonconformists.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Movies have long been a magnet for scrutiny, hysteria or moral panics, though obviously television now draws much of that dubious attention.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The Italian city of marble and water is a magnet for art-lovers, but culture is not the only attraction.’
      attraction, focus, focal point, enticement, pull, crowd-pleaser, draw, lure, allurement, temptation, invitation, fascination
      View synonyms
    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-).