Mag"net*ism (?), n. [Cf. F.
magnétisme.] The property, quality, or state, of
being magnetic; the manifestation of the force in nature which is
seen in a magnet.
2. The science which treats of magnetic
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, a force, more or less
analogous to magnetism, which, it has been 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.