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refractory period

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noun Physiology.
  1. a short period after a nerve or muscle cell fires during which the cell cannot respond to additional stimulation.
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Origin of refractory period

First recorded in 1875–80
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for refractory period

refractory period

noun
  1. a period during which a nerve or muscle is incapable of responding to stimulation, esp immediately following a previous stimulation. In an absolute refractory period there is a total inability to respond; in an effective or relative refractory period there is a response to very large stimuli
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Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

refractory period in Medicine

refractory period

n.
  1. The period that follows effective stimulation, during which excitable tissue fails to respond to a stimulus of threshold intensity.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

refractory period in Science

refractory period

  1. The period immediately following the transmission of an impulse in nerve or muscle, in which a neuron or muscle cell regains its ability to transmit another impulse. See more at action potential.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.