magnetic poles

magnetic pole

noun
1.
the region of a magnet toward which the lines of magnetic induction converge (south pole) or from which the lines of induction diverge (north pole)
2.
either of the two points on the earth's surface where the dipping needle of a compass stands vertical, one in the arctic, the other in the antarctic. See map under North Pole, South Pole.

Origin:
1695–1705

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World English Dictionary
magnetic pole
 
n
1.  either of two regions in a magnet where the magnetic induction is concentrated
2.  either of two variable points on the earth's surface towards which a magnetic needle points, where the lines of force of the earth's magnetic field are vertical

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Science Dictionary
magnetic pole  
  1. Either of two regions of a magnet, designated north and south, where the magnetic field is strongest. Electromagnetic interactions cause the north poles of magnets to be attracted to the south poles of other magnets, and conversely. The north pole of a magnet is the pole out of which magnetic lines of force point, while the south pole is the pole into which they point. The Earth's geomagnetic "north" and "south" poles are, in fact, magnetically the opposite of what their names suggest; this is why the north end of a compass needle is attracted to the geomagnetic "north" pole. See Note at magnetism, See also monopole.

  2. Either of two regions of the Earth's surface at which magnetic lines of force are perpendicular to the Earth's surface. The Earth's magnetic poles are close to, but not identical with, both its geographic poles (the North and South Poles) and its geomagnetic poles. See Note at magnetic reversal.


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Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Cultural Dictionary

magnetic pole definition


The spot on the Earth toward which a compass needle will point.

Note: The north magnetic pole is not located exactly at the geographic North Pole. Therefore, depending on where a compass is, its needle may not point exactly north.
Note: The variation between magnetic north and “true” north is usually shown on navigation maps as the “angle of declination.”
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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