At low temperatures, some lattice spin models with simple ferromagnetic or antiferromagnetic interactions (for example, nearest-neighbor interaction being isotropic in spin space on a bipartite three-dimensional lattice) produce orientationally ordered phases exhibiting nematic (second-rank) order, in addition to the primary first-rank one; on the other hand, in the literature, they have been rather seldom investigated in this respect. Here we study the thermodynamic properties of a three-dimensional model with dipolar-like interaction. Its ground state is found to exhibit full orientational order with respect to a suitably defined staggered magnetization (polarization), but no nematic second-rank order. Extensive Monte Carlo simulations, in conjunction with finite-size scaling analysis, have been used for characterizing its critical behavior; on the other hand, it has been found that nematic order does indeed set in at low temperatures, via a mechanism of order by disorder.
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