Definition of magneto in English:

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Pronunciation: /maɡˈniːtəʊ/

noun (plural magnetos)

A small electric generator containing a permanent magnet and used to provide high-voltage pulses, especially (formerly) in the ignition systems of internal combustion engines.
Example sentences
  • A review of the aircraft's maintenance records did not disclose any previous work written up as having been performed on the magnetos or engine ignition system.
  • If it's fuel or oil pressure, think pumps; for fuel quantity, think tanks or cross-feed; for temperature, think mixture, cowl flaps and air flow; for air, think carburetor heat or alternate air; and for ignition, think magnetos.
  • Wartime models had only steel wheels, a magneto and hand crank, instead of a battery.


Late 19th century: abbreviation of magneto-electric.

Words that rhyme with magneto

Benito, bonito, burrito, coquito, graffito, Hirohito, incognito, Ito, Miskito, mosquito, Quito, Tito, veto
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