electromagnetism

noun

elec·​tro·​mag·​ne·​tism i-ˌlek-trō-ˈmag-nə-ˌti-zəm How to pronounce electromagnetism (audio)
1
: magnetism developed by a current of electricity
2
a
: a fundamental physical force that is responsible for interactions between charged particles which occur because of their charge and for the emission and absorption of photons, that is about a hundredth the strength of the strong force, and that extends over infinite distances but is dominant over atomic and molecular distances

called also electromagnetic force

compare gravity sense 3a(2), strong force, weak force
b
: a branch of physical science that deals with the physical relations between electricity and magnetism

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web This approach has worked before: Electricity and magnetism are now understood as facets of electromagnetism. WIRED, 18 Oct. 2022 The researchers tested their method by storing one of 19th-century physicist Michael Faraday's seminal papers on electromagnetism and chemistry, as well as a JPEG image of Faraday. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 8 Aug. 2022 Wireless charging is an extremely competitive concept, with multiple start-ups vying to transmit power via electromagnetism, lasers or sound waves. Sophie Bushwick, Scientific American, 2 Sep. 2021 The components of electromagnetism are thus quantum in origin. Sumeet Kulkarni, Los Angeles Times, 2 July 2022 Now physicists seek a single theory that fuses general relativity, which describes gravity, with quantum field theory, which accounts for electromagnetism and the nuclear forces. John Horgan, Scientific American, 25 June 2021 These use electromagnetism to directly heat up a pan, rather than getting an element hot through electrical resistance and then heating up the pan that way. Ryan Cooper, The Week, 14 Sep. 2021 There are fields associated with fundamental particles like electrons and quarks, and fields associated with fundamental forces, like gravity and electromagnetism. Quanta Magazine, 24 June 2021 Some physicists insist that everything, including humanity, is ultimately explicable in terms of particles pushed and pulled by gravity, electromagnetism and other forces. John Horgan, Scientific American, 3 Sep. 2021 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

1821, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Time Traveler
The first known use of electromagnetism was in 1821

Dictionary Entries Near electromagnetism

Cite this Entry

“Electromagnetism.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/electromagnetism. Accessed 27 Nov. 2022.

Kids Definition

electromagnetism

noun

elec·​tro·​mag·​ne·​tism i-ˌlek-trō-ˈmag-nə-ˌtiz-əm How to pronounce electromagnetism (audio)
1
: magnetism developed by a current of electricity
2
: a natural force arising from interactions between charged particles

Medical Definition

electromagnetism

noun

elec·​tro·​mag·​ne·​tism i-ˌlek-trō-ˈmag-nə-ˌtiz-əm How to pronounce electromagnetism (audio)
1
: magnetism developed by a current of electricity
2
: physics dealing with the relations between electricity and magnetism

More from Merriam-Webster on electromagnetism

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