Definition of lodestone in US English:


(also loadstone)


  • 1A piece of magnetite or other naturally magnetized mineral, able to be used as a magnet.

    • ‘Gilbert carried out many other experiments, including the study of spherical lodestones that were floated on water in small wooden boats.’
    • ‘Electromagnetic fields and radiation have, perhaps through their historical associations with magnetic lodestones and electrical storms, been linked to forces of nature that are not readily understood.’
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A naturally magnetized mineral; magnetite.
      • ‘Geomagnetic measurements owe their beginning to an uncommon rock: lodestone.’
      • ‘Then there were real sparks as someone hit a lodestone, and a candle ignited in front of my face.’
      • ‘It holds a very sharp edge, and lodestone does not attract it.’
      • ‘Why did lodestone have the power to attract certain metals?’
      • ‘They floated a piece of lodestone, a naturally-occurring magnetic mineral, on a piece of wood in a bowl of water with its ‘poles’ horizontally opposite to one another so that it could rotate and line up with the Earth's poles.’
      • ‘For example, there is an interesting rock called lodestone.’
    2. 1.2 A thing that is the focus of attention or attraction.
      • ‘It is the ideological lodestone of a political movement that has shoved the entire American political center to the right.’
      • ‘Santa Fe has been a lodestone for the study, idealization, and romanticization of the American Indian since the completion of the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railway.’
      • ‘Little recognized in this country is that the scope and pervasiveness of American power is now the lodestone for every other country in the pursuit of its own interests.’
      • ‘West also believes the musical genre of the blues is a philosophical lodestone for successful democracy.’
      • ‘Attendance at the Army War College (as well as the other senior service colleges) should remain the lodestone of the profession of arms.’