lode·​stone ˈlōd-ˌstōn How to pronounce lodestone (audio)
variants or less commonly
: magnetite possessing polarity
: something that strongly attracts

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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 in the early 16th century, the new term referred to magnetite, a magnetic iron ore. Just as a new business district might be a magnet for entrepreneurs, or a poor soul a magnet for bad luck, lodestone sees similar figurative use describing things with a seeming power to attract.

Examples of lodestone in a Sentence

the young woman's wealth unfortunately made her a lodestone for fortune hunters
Recent Examples on the Web With the lodestone defender of his 2024 recruiting class in place, Freeze was set to make the largest splash possible during one of Auburn’s most important recruiting weekends of the year. Joseph Goodman | Jgoodman@al.com, al, 2 Aug. 2023 Davies has basically just tapped into my intellectual lodestone here. David Karpf, WIRED, 27 July 2023 And hey, just spitballing here, but maybe the next big pile of money should actually go to, say, the millions of college students who played by the rules and are now shackled with a lodestone of debt rather than going to the same old band of rich narcissists who put us in this hole. Jason Linkins, The New Republic, 1 Apr. 2023 The community of about 2,500, two hours northeast of metro Kansas City, was the hometown and emotional lodestone of Walt Disney. John Bordsen, CNN, 5 Apr. 2023 Early iron compass needles were magnetized by lodestone or magnetite minerals pulled from Earth. Jennifer Leman, Popular Mechanics, 29 Mar. 2023 In fact, power proved to be his lodestone. New York Times, 26 Mar. 2022 Mussolini, in fact, even listed the pragmatist philosopher William James, a lodestone for Progressives, as a primary influence. Daniel Bessner, The New Republic, 6 Mar. 2023 This is, after all, the home of the blues, the birthplace of Elvis, a global distribution hub, a lodestone of American history. Noah Robertson, The Christian Science Monitor, 22 Feb. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'lodestone.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


obsolete lode course, from Middle English

First Known Use

circa 1518, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of lodestone was circa 1518


Dictionary Entries Near lodestone

Cite this Entry

“Lodestone.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/lodestone. Accessed 4 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition


variants also loadstone
: a rock having magnetic properties
: something that strongly attracts

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