Pronunciation: (his"tu-rē'sis), [key]
1. the lag in response exhibited by a body in reacting to changes in the forces, esp. magnetic forces, affecting it. Cf. magnetic hysteresis.
2. the phenomenon exhibited by a system, often a ferromagnetic or imperfectly elastic material, in which the reaction of the system to changes is dependent upon its past reactions to change.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.