[ ri-frakt ]
/ rɪˈfrækt /

verb (used with object)

to subject to refraction.
to determine the refractive condition of (an eye).

Nearby words

  1. reformer,
  2. reforming,
  3. reformism,
  4. reformist,
  5. reformulate,
  6. refractile,
  7. refracting telescope,
  8. refraction,
  9. refractionist,
  10. refractive

Origin of refract

1605–15; < Latin refrāctus, past participle of refringere to break, force back, equivalent to re- re- + frac- (variant stem of frangere to break) + -tus past participle suffix

Related forms Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for refract

British Dictionary definitions for refract


/ (rɪˈfrækt) /

verb (tr)

to cause to undergo refraction
to measure the refractive capabilities of (the eye, a lens, etc)
Derived Formsrefractable, adjective

Word Origin for refract

C17: from Latin refractus broken up, from refringere, from re- + frangere to break

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

Word Origin and History for refract



"to bend" (light, sound, heat, etc.), 1610s, back-formation from refraction, and in part from Latin refractus, past participle of refringere. Related: Refracted; refracting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for refract


[ rĭ-frăkt ]


To deflect something, especially light, from a straight path by refraction.
To determine the refraction of an eye or a lens.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.