mag·​ne·​to | \ mag-ˈnē-(ˌ)tō How to pronounce magneto (audio) \
plural magnetos

Definition of magneto

: a magnetoelectric machine especially : an alternator with permanent magnets used to generate current for the ignition in an internal combustion engine

Examples of magneto in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Accompanying the car is the vendor's own coil ignition system, which can be carried as a spare and in case of emergency fitted to replace the magneto in around five minutes. Josh Max, Forbes, 27 Oct. 2021 Timbuk3 clearly had great prescience: Just a year after this song’s release, David Pritchard and Steven Chu first trapped atoms in a magneto-optical trap (or MOT) at Bell Labs, laying the foundation for the cold atom revolution to follow. Paul Lipman, Forbes, 3 Sep. 2021 To learn more about how magneto-location works for the dogs, the study authors will begin a new experiment placing magnets on the dogs’ collars to find out if this disrupts their navigational skills. Courtney Sexton, Smithsonian Magazine, 27 July 2020 However, there are also materials that will only change polarization in the presence of a magnetic field, called magneto-optic materials. Chris Lee, Ars Technica, 29 Apr. 2020 Subsequent starts after the initial pull are push-button, as the capacitor discharges into the magneto—now acting as a starter motor—and turns the crankshaft. David Beard, Car and Driver, 14 Feb. 2020 From there, the engine's magneto acts as a generator, charging a lightweight ultra-capacitor in two minutes after a cold start. David Beard, Car and Driver, 14 Feb. 2020 Studies have shown that cockroaches and other types of insects seem to be capable of detecting magnetic fields (magneto-reception), and can also become magnetized themselves. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 12 Sep. 2019 The ultra-thin strips work on what's known as the anisotropic magneto-resistive (AMR) effect. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, 16 Nov. 2018 See More

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

First Known Use of magneto

1877, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for magneto

Time Traveler

The first known use of magneto was in 1877

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Dictionary Entries Near magneto

magnetizing force


magnetocaloric effect

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Statistics for magneto

Cite this Entry

“Magneto.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Jun. 2022.

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