lode·​stone | \ˈlōd-ˌstōn \
variants: or less commonly

Definition of lodestone 

1 : magnetite possessing polarity

2 : something that strongly attracts

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Synonyms for lodestone


attraction, draw, magnet

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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

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 The shot turned a two-point deficit into a one-point lead, the lodestone in a stunning, 11-0 run in the final, furious 138 seconds of Game 3 of the NBA Finals. Adam Kilgore, The Denver Post, "“I’ve seen that”: The shot of Kevin Durant’s life was a lifetime in the making," 8 June 2017 Of the three polar features on Mercator’s sixteenth-century map—the mountain, the maelstrom, and the open polar sea—only the lodestone mountain turned out to be a myth. Kathryn Schulz, The New Yorker, "Literature’s Arctic Obsession," 24 Apr. 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

The first known use of lodestone was circa 1515

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More Definitions for lodestone



English Language Learners Definition of lodestone

: a magnetic rock


lode·​stone | \ˈlōd-ˌstōn\

Kids Definition of lodestone

: a magnetic rock

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Comments on lodestone

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playful or foolish behavior

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