Definition of magneto in English:


nounPlural magnetos

  • A small electric generator containing a permanent magnet and used to provide high-voltage pulses, especially (formerly) in the ignition systems of internal combustion engines.

    • ‘The magnetos, fuel pump, vacuum pump, starter and spark plugs were removed from the engine.’
    • ‘Suspecting the electronic ignition, the team disabled the electronics and started the engine ‘the old way,’ using just the magnetos.’
    • ‘The hammer was soon replaced by a magneto powered with a hand crank.’
    • ‘Wartime models had only steel wheels, a magneto and hand crank, instead of a battery.’
    • ‘Each engine had seven improved and interchangeable magnetos, each feeding a grouping of four cylinders.’
    • ‘Then check the magnetos at the request of the flight engineer.’
    • ‘A magneto broke, the supercharger was knocked off the engine, and some connecting rods broke.’
    • ‘The magnetos were in the ceiling behind the front pilot.’
    • ‘Checklist complete, here we go: Clear, primer out and ready, starter button press, one blade, two blades, magnetos on, and a little shot of prime as the engine began to cough and sputter.’
    • ‘A review of the aircraft's maintenance records did not disclose any previous work written up as having been performed on the magnetos or engine ignition system.’
    • ‘The firing mechanism mechanically fires the spotting rifle and uses a magneto to fire the rocket.’
    • ‘In 1941 the U.S. Office of Production Management authorized Bosch officials to build a $700,000 facility for aircraft magnetos.’
    • ‘Authored by John Schwaner, arguably the world's foremost expert on aircraft magnetos, the book covers everything you could possibly want to know about how your aircraft ignition system works.’
    • ‘Condensation in the magnetos will cause shorting of the breaker points.’
    • ‘If it's fuel or oil pressure, think pumps; for fuel quantity, think tanks or cross-feed; for temperature, think mixture, cowl flaps and air flow; for air, think carburetor heat or alternate air; and for ignition, think magnetos.’
    • ‘This magneto is the type of small generator incorporated in early telephones, and was used to ring telephone bells at the central office and on the subscriber's party line.’
    • ‘Air was directed to the spark plugs, magnetos, distributors and to the cap baffles of the turbosupercharger.’
    • ‘A magneto blew up at 9,000 ft over the sea between Cyprus and Jordan, a moment that she describes as ‘heartstopping.’’
    • ‘Carburetors, magnetos and spark plugs were all carefully checked.’
    • ‘After the installation of two new magnetos, Hunter flew on to Cleveland’


Late 19th century: abbreviation of magneto-electric.