• synonyms


[ri-fran-juh-buh l]
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  1. capable of being refracted, as rays of light.
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Origin of refrangible

First recorded in 1665–75; re- + frangible
Related formsre·fran·gi·ble·ness, re·fran·gi·bil·i·ty, nounun·re·fran·gi·ble, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for refrangibility

Historical Examples

  • This is an illustration of what is called the aberration of refrangibility.

    The Mechanism of Life

    Stphane Leduc

  • It was simply so lowered in refrangibility as to escape the visual range.

  • It corresponds in refrangibility with the yellow band of the spectrum.

  • This confirmed his previous conclusion that the rays increase in refrangibility from red to violet.

  • Here, by the interposition of the platinum foil, the refrangibility of the ultra-red rays is so exalted as to render them visible.

British Dictionary definitions for refrangibility


  1. capable of being refracted
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Derived Formsrefrangibility or refrangibleness, noun

Word Origin

C17: from Latin refringere to break up, 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 refrangibility



1670s, from stem of Vulgar Latin *refrangere, from re- "back" (see re-) + Latin frangere "to break" (see fraction).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper