verb (used with object)

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

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 formsre·fract·a·ble, adjectivere·fract·ed·ly, adverbre·fract·ed·ness, nounnon·re·fract·ing, adjectiveun·re·fract·ed, adjectiveun·re·fract·ing, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for refracted

Contemporary Examples of refracted

Historical Examples of refracted

  • Everything he sees is refracted in the waters of his subjectivity, from which he cannot escape.

  • He looked at it, and looked, and saw that it refracted the light.

    A Simpleton

    Charles Reade

  • A little warmth came into them and into his cheeks, refracted from her bloom.

  • Because the light reflected from the objects at the bottom is refracted as it leaves the water.

  • Lights entering a diamond are reflected, refracted and dispersed.

British Dictionary definitions for refracted


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 refracted



"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

refracted in Medicine




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.