magnetic north


Definition of magnetic north

: the northerly direction in the earth's magnetic field indicated by the north-seeking pole of a compass needle

Examples of magnetic north in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web For the purpose of using a compass, there are two types of north: true north and magnetic north. The Editors, Outdoor Life, "3 Basic Compass Skills Everyone Should Learn," 5 Jan. 2021 The needle of a compass always points in this direction, and the angle of difference between true north and magnetic north is called the declination. The Editors, Outdoor Life, "3 Basic Compass Skills Everyone Should Learn," 5 Jan. 2021 Though Mars once had a magnetic north and south like Earth, its internal dynamo, or liquid metal interior, stopped churning billions of years ago, stripping the planet of its global magnetic field. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian Magazine, "InSight Lander’s First Big Batch of Data Reveals Mars’ Seismic Activity and Surprising Magnetism," 25 Feb. 2020 Designed and built by a pair of astronomy photographers, the offbeat residence faces the magnetic north and features a sun calendar embedded into the living room. Neal J. Leitereg, Los Angeles Times, "Hot Property newsletter: Still a good place to park it," 11 Apr. 2020 Earth's magnetic North Pole has shifted over the years. Jennifer Leman, Popular Mechanics, "The 1,400-Year-Old Red Aurora Mystery Has Finally Been Solved," 3 Apr. 2020 The second part lies in understanding that the needle of your compass always points toward the magnetic north pole. Gary Garth, USA TODAY, "Need a social distancing-friendly activity? Use this time to improve your outdoor skills," 22 Mar. 2020 Set on one of the highest points in the Santa Monica Mountains, the three-bedroom, three-bathroom pyramid is oriented to face the magnetic north — the northern pole of Earth’s magnetic field that runs vertically down the planet. Los Angeles Times, "Pyramid house in Malibu sells to former Warner Bros. executive," 3 Apr. 2020 Its gunpowder propelled the first military rockets farther than javelin or arrow could fly; its compasses magically revealed magnetic north when the stars were hidden. The Economist, "Chinese technology With the state’s help, Chinese technology is booming," 27 Dec. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'magnetic north.' 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 magnetic north

1812, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for magnetic north

Time Traveler

The first known use of magnetic north was in 1812

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Cite this Entry

“Magnetic north.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for magnetic north

magnetic north


English Language Learners Definition of magnetic north

: the direction or area to the north toward which the needle of a compass points

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