refract

verb
re·​fract | \ ri-ˈfrakt How to pronounce refract (audio) \
refracted; refracting; refracts

Definition of refract

transitive verb

1a : to subject (something, such as a ray of light) to refraction
b : to alter or distort as if by refraction to refract that familiar world through the mind and heart of a romantic … woman— Anton Myrer
2 : to determine the refracting power of

Examples of refract in a Sentence

Light is refracted when it hits water.

Recent Examples on the Web

The light work is particularly impressive in a movie that can shift with ease from the neon luridness of the midway to the delicate tracery of sunlight refracted through a stately retinue of chandeliers. The Washington Post, The Mercury News, "Review: Woody and Buzz are back and better than ever," 20 June 2019 The light refracted against the walls seems to thrum, resonant with voices of the water echoing on the cliffs. Christopher Ketcham, Harper's magazine, "Ramblin’ Man," 24 June 2019 The most sparkly diamond will be cut symmetrically so the light will refract correctly, and will have complex angles. Mandy Behbehani, SFChronicle.com, "How to choose a lab-grown diamond," 10 June 2019 But Myles’s poems set a bar for openness, frankness, and variability few lives could ever match; and so in her work, the surprise second life is actually the one lived off the page, refracted through decades of Myles’s astonishingly vivid lines. Dan Chiasson, The New York Review of Books, "Dan Chiasson," 6 June 2019 The faceted shape refracts the light in a dazzling manner. Hadley Keller, House Beautiful, "Watch the Insane Process Behind This Glass Pendant," 4 June 2019 With players from HBCUs adding new flavor to her hits and deep cuts, Beyoncé's relentless rhythms are refracted through the martial rigor of a marching band, resulting in a groove that's buttoned-up but never lets up. Billboard Staff, Billboard, "The 50 Best Albums of 2019 (So Far): Staff Picks," 3 June 2019 In the case of a lunar eclipse, the sunlight that makes it around Earth passes through our atmosphere and is refracted toward the moon. Shannon Schmoll, Washington Post, "Something amazing will happen with the moon on Jan. 31," 28 Jan. 2018 At the beginning of the film, Lesley-as-Cyril refracts her brother’s gaze into a steely glare, staring down his outgoing girlfriend and sizing up his incoming one, Alma. Amanda Hess, New York Times, "Lesley Manville Has Waited Long Enough," 16 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'refract.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of refract

1612, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for refract

Latin refractus, past participle of refringere to break open, break up, from re- + frangere to break — more at break

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Statistics for refract

Last Updated

18 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for refract

The first known use of refract was in 1612

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More Definitions for refract

refract

verb

English Language Learners Definition of refract

technical, of an object or substance : to make (light) change direction when it goes through at an angle

refract

verb
re·​fract | \ ri-ˈfrakt How to pronounce refract (audio) \
refracted; refracting

Kids Definition of refract

: to make (light) bend when it passes through at an angle Prisms refract light.

refract

transitive verb
re·​fract | \ ri-ˈfrakt How to pronounce refract (audio) \

Medical Definition of refract

1 : to subject (as a ray of light) to refraction
2 : to determine the refracting power of or abnormality of refraction in (as an eye or a lens)

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More from Merriam-Webster on refract

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with refract

Spanish Central: Translation of refract

Nglish: Translation of refract for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of refract for Arabic Speakers

Comments on refract

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appealing forcibly to the mind or reason

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