magnetism

Magnetism is the power to attract. It refers to the attraction to iron and other metals in electric currents and magnets, or to the other kind of attraction — where people want to be close to each other.

Different kinds of magnetism cause some magnets to attract, while others repel. Magnetism can also be called a magnetic force or magnetic attraction. Chemistry and earth science are two classes you might learn about magnetism in. Outside of the classroom, magnetism can be the force of attraction between people — if you have animal magnetism, don’t worry, a giraffe isn’t going to stick to you, but watch out for people with lovey eyes.

Definitions of magnetism
  1. noun
    attraction for iron; associated with electric currents as well as magnets; characterized by fields of force
    synonyms: magnetic attraction, magnetic force
    see moresee less
    types:
    show 6 types...
    hide 6 types...
    electromagnetism
    magnetism produced by an electric current
    antiferromagnetism
    magnetic field creates parallel but opposing spins; varies with temperature
    diamagnetism
    phenomenon exhibited by materials like copper or bismuth that become magnetized in a magnetic field with a polarity opposite to the magnetic force; unlike iron they are slightly repelled by a magnet
    ferromagnetism
    phenomenon exhibited by materials like iron (nickel or cobalt) that become magnetized in a magnetic field and retain their magnetism when the field is removed
    paramagnetism
    materials like aluminum or platinum become magnetized in a magnetic field but it disappears when the field is removed
    ferrimagnetism
    a phenomenon in ferrites where there can be incomplete cancellation of antiferromagnetic arranged spins giving a net magnetic moment
    type of:
    attraction, attractive force
    the force by which one object attracts another
  2. noun
    the branch of science that studies magnetism
    synonyms: magnetics
    see moresee less
    type of:
    geophysical science, geophysics
    geology that uses physical principles to study properties of the earth
Word Family
EDITOR’S CHOICE

Test prep from the experts

Boost your test score with programs developed by Vocabulary.com’s experts.

  • Proven methods: Learn faster, remember longer with our scientific approach.
  • Personalized plan: We customize your experience to maximize your learning.
  • Strategic studying: Focus on the words that are most crucial for success.

SAT/PSAT

$29.95
  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 8 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week

TOEFL

$29.95
  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 10 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week

ACT

$29.95
  • Number of words: 700+
  • Duration: 10 weeks
  • Time: 1 hour / week