- the region of a magnet toward which the lines of magnetic induction converge (south pole) or from which the lines of induction diverge (north pole).
- either of the two points on the earth’s surface where the dipping needle of a compass stands vertical, one in the arctic, the other in the antarctic.
- either of two regions in a magnet where the magnetic induction is concentrated
- either of two variable points on the earth’s surface towards which a magnetic needle points, where the lines of force of the earth’s magnetic field are vertical
- Either of two regions of a magnet, designated north and south, where the magnetic field is strongest. Electromagnetic interactions cause the north poles of magnets to be attracted to the south poles of other magnets, and conversely. The north pole of a magnet is the pole out of which magnetic lines of force point, while the south pole is the pole into which they point. The Earth’s geomagnetic north and south poles are, in fact, magnetically the opposite of what their names suggest; this is why the north end of a compass needle is attracted to the geomagnetic north pole. See Note at magnetism. See also magnetic.
- Either of two regions of the Earth’s surface at which magnetic lines of force are perpendicular to the Earth’s surface. The Earth’s magnetic poles are close to, but not identical with, both its geographic poles (the North and South Poles) and its geomagnetic poles. See Note at magnetic reversal.
The spot on the Earth toward which a compass needle will point.