The property of a substance, like bismuth, that creates a weak magnetic field in opposition of an externally applied magnetic field, thus causing a repulsive effect. In diamagnetic materials the → magnetic moments of individual atoms are not permanent. Within each atom the electron spins and orbital motions all exactly balance out, so any particular atom has no net magnetic moment. The external magnetic field generates little currents by induction. According to → Lenz's law, the induced magnetic moments of the atoms are directed opposite to the magnetic field.
Diamagnetic, from Gk. dia- a prefix used with several meanings "passing through; thoroughly; completely; going apart," and in the present case "opposed;" → magnetic. magnetic.