Mag"net*ism(?), n. [Cf. F. magntisme.] The property, quality, or state, of being magnetic; the manifestation of the force in nature which is seen in a magnet. At one time it was believed to be separate from the electrical force, but it is now known to be intimately associated with electricity, as part of the phenomenon of electromagnetism.
[1913 Webster +PJC]
2. The science which treats of magnetic phenomena.
3. Power of attraction; power to excite the feelings and to gain the affections. "By the magnetism of interest our affections are irresistibly attracted."
Animal magnetism, Same as hypnotism, at one time believe to be due to a force more or less analogous to magnetism, which, it was alleged, is produced in animal tissues, and passes from one body to another with or without actual contact. The existence of such a force, and its potentiality for the cure of disease, were asserted by Mesmer in 1775. His theories and methods were afterwards called mesmerism, a name which has been popularly applied to theories and claims not put forward by Mesmer himself. See Mesmerism, Biology, Od, Hypnotism. --
Terrestrial magnetism, the magnetic force exerted by the earth, and recognized by its effect upon magnetized needles and bars.
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