• synonyms


See more synonyms for refract on Thesaurus.com
verb (used with object)
  1. to subject to refraction.
  2. to determine the refractive condition of (an eye).
Show More

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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for refracted

swerve, pervert, deform, twist, hook, verge, curl, angle, droop, tilt, yaw, lean, spiral, stoop, warp, circle, flex, crouch, detour, zigzag

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)
  1. to cause to undergo refraction
  2. to measure the refractive capabilities of (the eye, a lens, etc)
Show More
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.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

refracted in Medicine


  1. To deflect something, especially light, from a straight path by refraction.
  2. To determine the refraction of an eye or a lens.
Show More
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.