Definition of magneto in English:



  • 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.

    • ‘Suspecting the electronic ignition, the team disabled the electronics and started the engine ‘the old way,’ using just the magnetos.’
    • ‘The magnetos, fuel pump, vacuum pump, starter and spark plugs were removed from the engine.’
    • ‘In 1941 the U.S. Office of Production Management authorized Bosch officials to build a $700,000 facility for aircraft magnetos.’
    • ‘The magnetos were in the ceiling behind the front pilot.’
    • ‘Condensation in the magnetos will cause shorting of the breaker points.’
    • ‘After the installation of two new magnetos, Hunter flew on to Cleveland’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Wartime models had only steel wheels, a magneto and hand crank, instead of a battery.’
    • ‘A magneto blew up at 9,000 ft over the sea between Cyprus and Jordan, a moment that she describes as ‘heartstopping.’’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Carburetors, magnetos and spark plugs were all carefully checked.’
    • ‘Air was directed to the spark plugs, magnetos, distributors and to the cap baffles of the turbosupercharger.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The firing mechanism mechanically fires the spotting rifle and uses a magneto to fire the rocket.’
    • ‘The hammer was soon replaced by a magneto powered with a hand crank.’
    • ‘A magneto broke, the supercharger was knocked off the engine, and some connecting rods broke.’
    • ‘Then check the magnetos at the request of the flight engineer.’
    • ‘Each engine had seven improved and interchangeable magnetos, each feeding a grouping of four cylinders.’
    • ‘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.’


Late 19th century: abbreviation of magneto-electric.