lodestone

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lode·stone / ˈlōdˌstōn/ • n. a piece of magnetite or other naturally magnetized mineral, able to be used as a magnet. ∎  a mineral of this kind; magnetite. ∎ fig. a thing that is the focus of attention or attraction.

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Lodestone (or Loadstone)

A magnetic stone of magnetite (oxide of iron) showing polarity when suspended. It was once believed to possess magical properties of various kinds. If one was ill, the stone should be held in the hands and shaken well. It was said to cure wounds, snakebites, weak eyes, headaches, and defective hearing. The possessor of the lodestone was supposed to be able to walk through reptiles in safety even when they were accompanied by "black death." Orpheus stated that "with this stone you can hear the voices of the gods and learn many wonderful things," that it had the property of unfolding the future, and if held close to the eyes, it would inspire with a divine spirit.

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lodestone a piece of magnetite or other naturally magnetized mineral, able to be used as a magnet. Recorded from the early 16th century, the word means literally ‘way-stone’, from the use of the magnet in guiding mariners.

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lodestone See MAGNETITE.