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magnetic north

north as indicated by a magnetic compass, differing in most places from true north.
Origin of magnetic north
1805-15 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for magnetic north
Historical Examples
  • Even the compass needle doesn't point the true north, but only the magnetic north.

  • His gaze shivered and fixed itself on the Master's, as in a compass-box you may see the needle tremble to magnetic north.

    Brother Copas Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch
  • The outer dial rotated as soon as the cover lock was released and came to a stop pointing to magnetic north.

    The Thirst Quenchers Rick Raphael
  • The whole arises from the system adopted of laying down the boundaries by the magnetic north instead of by the true.

  • Your compass, as just explained, points to the magnetic north.

    Touring Afoot Claude Powell Fordyce
  • If to the magnetic north the needle will have but one barb away from the true North.

    Military Instructors Manual James P. Cole and Oliver Schoonmaker
  • It must be remembered that in one case I speak of the true north, and in the other of the magnetic north.

    Spinning Tops John Perry
  • Her perception of the invisible was as sensitive as the needle of a compass to the thrill of the magnetic north.

    The Heather-Moon C. N. Williamson and A. M. Williamson
  • The tendency of the loadstone to point towards the magnetic north and south.

    The Sailor's Word-Book William Henry Smyth
  • The variation from the magnetic north is shown on the ground plan, which was made in December, 1890.

    Casa Grande Ruin Cosmos Mindeleff
British Dictionary definitions for magnetic north

magnetic north

the direction in which a compass needle points, at an angle (the declination) from the direction of true (geographic) north
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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magnetic north in Science
magnetic north  
The direction toward which the north-seeking arrow of a compass points. ◇ The magnetic north pole is the northern pole of the Earth's magnetic field and changes slightly in response to variations in the Earth's magnetism. The current magnetic north pole is located in the Arctic Islands of Canada. Compare geographic north.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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magnetic north in Culture

magnetic north definition

The direction of the north magnetic pole.

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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