lode·​stone | \ ˈlōd-ˌstōn How to pronounce lodestone (audio) \
variants: or less commonly

Definition of lodestone

1 : magnetite possessing polarity
2 : something that strongly attracts

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Synonyms for lodestone


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Did You Know?

Lodestone is made up of distinctly English components, ones that have been part of our language since before the 12th century. "Lode" comes from the Old English "lād," which means "way, journey, course." The word stone derives from the Old English "stān," which had the same meaning as the modern term "stone." When the two ancient words were combined to form "lodestone" around 1515, the new term referred to magnetite, an oxide of iron that forms a natural magnet.

Examples of lodestone in a Sentence

the young woman's wealth unfortunately made her a lodestone for fortune hunters
Recent Examples on the Web Early iron compass needles were magnetized by lodestone, or magnetized magnetite minerals, pulled from the Earth. Jennifer Leman, Popular Mechanics, "How Do Magnets Work?," 7 Dec. 2019 Objects like lodestones, which had exotic properties, would have been particularly valued in trade. Joshua Rapp Learn, Smithsonian, "Mesoamerican Sculptures Reveal Early Knowledge of Magnetism," 6 Aug. 2019 Appropriately, The Times is a lodestone; Gesine reveres it as a voice of reason and propriety sifting the world into sensible sentences. New York Times, "New & Noteworthy Visual Books, From Maurice Sendak’s Stage Sets to Dogs in Space," 19 July 2019 John Steinbeck’s Travels with Charley is cited as a literary lodestone in Our Towns, along with William Least Heat-Moon’s Blue Highways. Barry Singer, USA TODAY, "In 'Our Towns,' married authors crisscross America to take 'fresh look' at USA," 8 May 2018 Equally keen not to be eclipsed, Hublot is at the precipice of unveiling a Big Bang crafted of the same lodestone owned and used by 6BC philosopher Thales of Miletus and which has been magnetized by the forcefield surrounding Zeus’s lightning bolts. Wei Koh, A-LIST, "How the Watch Industry Plundered the Periodic Table," 3 Apr. 2018 His unpopularity at home was a lodestone in his presidential campaign, not a victim of that presidential campaign’s failure. Ed Kilgore, Daily Intelligencer, "Chris Christie’s Hard-Earned Unpopularity Is His Most Enduring Legacy," 10 Jan. 2018 While most U.S. government activities in space, and the lion's share of the space budget, are focused on military programs, human spaceflight remains the program's lodestone. chicagotribune.com, "Trump needs to go to the moon," 14 Aug. 2017 The director pays close attention to the details of this ramshackle house, which begins as an emotional lodestone for C and eventually becomes something approaching a prison. David Sims, The Atlantic, "A Ghost Story Is a Haunting Modern Fable," 6 July 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'lodestone.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of lodestone

circa 1515, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for lodestone

obsolete lode course, from Middle English

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Time Traveler for lodestone

Time Traveler

The first known use of lodestone was circa 1515

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Cite this Entry

“Lodestone.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/lodestone. Accessed 5 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for lodestone


How to pronounce lodestone (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of lodestone

: a magnetic rock


lode·​stone | \ ˈlōd-ˌstōn \

Kids Definition of lodestone

: a magnetic rock

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