mag·​net | \ˈmag-nət \

Definition of magnet 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1a : lodestone

b : a body having the property of attracting iron and producing a magnetic field external to itself specifically : a mass of iron, steel, or alloy that has this property artificially imparted

2 : something that attracts a box-office magnet


combining form
variants: or magneto-

Definition of magnet- (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : magnetic force magnetometer

2 : magnetism : magnetic magnetoelectric magneton

3 : magnetoelectric magnetoresistance

4 : magnetosphere magnetopause

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for magnet

Synonyms: Noun

attraction, draw, lodestone (also loadstone)

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of magnet in a Sentence


the giant theme park is a magnet for tourists to the area

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

As the opioid epidemic rages on, Purdue Pharma has become a magnet for criticism from legislators, regulators and the relatives of the dead. Colin Moynihan, New York Times, "Large-Scale Art Protest Outside OxyContin Maker Ends in Arrest," 22 June 2018 Become a talent magnet, attracting talent that will thrive in your culture. Steve Jagler, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Jagler: You want to attract and keep good employees? Love them," 15 June 2018 Penny joined USA Gymnastics in 1999 and oversaw one of the greatest runs in Olympic history, success that made the federation a magnet for big-time corporate sponsors who wanted to be aligned with its healthy, winning image. Houston Chronicle, "US Olympic Committee announces investigation amid scandal," 24 Jan. 2018 The vast majority of the rail and bus system has no bathroom access, because officials have traditionally said the facilities could be magnets for drug use and prostitution. Laura J. Nelson,, "L.A. transit officials consider Metro-owned sites in Valley, Venice to aid homeless," 17 May 2018 But fitness studios can be magnets for other lifestyle tenants, like apparel seller Lululemon, or the exercise bike business Peloton, Holland says, creating a mix that is particularly appealing to shoppers pursuing a healthier lifestyle. Charisse Jones, USA TODAY, "As aging stores close, fitness centers and healthy eateries move in," 8 May 2018 During Prohibition, the region’s secluded coves and then-remote hamlets became a magnet for rum-running, bootlegging and speakeasies. Jeanne Cooper,, "Where to watch the sunset with a cocktail around Half Moon Bay," 11 July 2018 The school has become a magnet for world class academic talent. Alex Bhattacharji, Town & Country, "Can USC Survive Scandal and Shed Its Spoiled-Kid Reputation Once and For All?," 10 July 2018 Otherwise the centres would become magnets for fresh migrants from across Africa—irritating the countries that must be persuaded to host them. The Economist, "Europe is moving towards the tough immigration policies of Sebastian Kurz," 5 July 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of magnet


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for magnet


Middle English magnete, from Anglo-French, from Latin magnet-, magnes, from Greek magnēs (lithos), literally, stone of Magnesia, ancient city in Asia Minor

Combining form

Latin magnet-, magnes

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about magnet

Statistics for magnet

Last Updated

12 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for magnet

The first known use of magnet was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for magnet



English Language Learners Definition of magnet

: a piece of material (such as iron or steel) that is able to attract certain metals

: something or someone that attracts people or things


mag·​net | \ˈmag-nət \

Kids Definition of magnet

: a piece of material (as of iron, steel, or alloy) that is able to attract iron


mag·​net | \ˈmag-nət \

Medical Definition of magnet 

: a body having the property of attracting iron and producing a magnetic field external to itself specifically : a mass of iron, steel, or alloy that has this property artificially imparted

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on magnet

What made you want to look up magnet? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


playful or foolish behavior

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Autumn Words of the Day 2018

  • a-top-down-image-of-road-through-an-autumn-forest
  • Which is a synonym of fugacious?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!