Definition of magneto in English:


Line breaks: mag|neto
Pronunciation: /magˈniːtəʊ

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.
    More 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.

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