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 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, "How Do Dogs Find Their Way Home? They Might Sense Earth’s Magnetic Field," 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, "Single-chip lidar routing is in our tiny future," 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, "2020 Ski-Doo Summit 850 Turbo Finds Higher Ground," 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, "2020 Ski-Doo Summit 850 Turbo Finds Higher Ground," 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, "Cubed wombat poop, why your left nut runs hot, among Ig Nobel winners," 12 Sep. 2019 The ultra-thin strips work on what's known as the anisotropic magneto-resistive (AMR) effect. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Electronic Skin Can Give Humans Directional Superpowers," 16 Nov. 2018 Hit the first six times; then the second, eight taps; crank the handle of a little magneto, and, voila, somewhere a phone designated as No. Darryl Levings, kansascity, "Kansas City has been dialed in to telephone innovations from the very beginning," 2 June 2018 By the end of the film, that assassin has used his magneto powers to lift a stadium named for another assassinated Kennedy and crash it down around the 1973 White House. Darren Franich,, "In praise of the X-Men franchise's Weirdo Renaissance, which is probably over now," 14 Dec. 2017

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.

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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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Cite this Entry

“Magneto.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Mar. 2021.

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