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magistrate a public official who exercises a judicial or executive function, such as a mayor or justice of the peace.
maglev a high-speed train levitated and propelled over tracks by the interaction of magnets along the sides of a guideway and on the train's underside; magnetic levitation train.
magma the hot, liquefied rock beneath the earth's surface that rises to the top of a volcano. [2 definitions]
Magna Carta the document forced from King John of England in 1215, which granted personal and political liberties to the English people. [2 definitions]
magna cum laude with high honors or great praise, indicating second highest status upon graduation from a college or university. (Cf. cum laude, summa cum laude.)
magnanimity generosity or willingness to forgive.
magnanimous having or showing a generous, forgiving, or noble nature.
magnate someone of exceptional power, wealth, or influence, esp. in business.
magnesia a white, powdery oxide of magnesium, used esp. in medicine as a laxative or antacid. (See milk of magnesia.)
magnesium a highly reactive chemical element of the alkaline-earth group that has twelve protons in each nucleus and that occurs naturally only in compounds, but that can be isolated as a divalent ion essential in plant and animal nutrition, or as alight, ductile, silver-white solid that bursts into a bright flame when heated above room temperature, used for flares, fireworks, and the like. (symbol: Mg)
magnet an object that attracts iron and some other materials by virtue of a natural or induced force field surrounding it. (See electromagnet.) [2 definitions]
magnetic of, concerning, or functioning as a magnet or magnets. [4 definitions]
magnetic amplifier a tubeless amplifier that employs two sets of windings, a primary set into which input feeds and a secondary set through which flows an alternating current, whose variations are modified by those in the primary winding.
magnetic bottle a magnetic field used to confine plasma during thermonuclear reactions.
magnetic compass an instrument that shows direction relative to the earth's magnetic field, usu. by means of a magnetic needle mounted on a pivot.
magnetic equator an imaginary line circling the earth near the equator, composed of points where a magnetic needle does not dip because the lines of magnetic force parallel the earth's surface.
magnetic field a region of space in which a magnetic force occurs, esp. as a result of electrical current or the motions of charged particles such as electrons.
magnetic flux the total number of lines of induction moving through a specific area in a magnetic field.
magnetic mine a marine mine designed to explode when its magnetic needle responds to the mass of a nearby ship.
magnetic moment the ratio that expresses the strength of a particular source of magnetic field. [2 definitions]
magnetic needle a thin magnetized bar of steel situated within an instrument, such as a compass, so that it indicates the direction of the earth's magnetic poles.