magnetic needle

magnetic needle

noun
a slender magnetized steel rod that, when adjusted to swing in a horizontal plane, as in a compass, indicates the direction of the earth's magnetic fields or the approximate position of north and south.

Origin:
1840–50

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World English Dictionary
magnetic needle
 
n
a slender magnetized rod used in certain instruments, such as the magnetic compass, for indicating the direction of a magnetic field

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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