Origin of refractor

First recorded in 1630–40; refract + -or2 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for refractor

Historical Examples of refractor

  • A refractor is also more convenient to handle than is a reflector.

  • The same eyepieces will serve for either the reflector or the refractor.

  • In America the reflector has always kept at least even pace with the refractor.


    David Todd

  • It is not easy to say which type of telescope, the refractor or the reflector, is the more famous.


    David Todd

  • With 3-inch refractor in the Punjab I found it “full scarlet.”

British Dictionary definitions for refractor


  1. an object or material that refracts
  2. another name for refracting telescope
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 refractor

1769, as a type of telescope, agent noun from refract.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper