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

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 Local theater genius Valerie Curtis-Newton directs Christina Ham’s 2016 play about Simone, refracted through the lens of Simone’s four women: Aunt Sarah, Saffronia, Sweet Thing and Peaches. The Seattle Times, "Look Ahead: The hottest Seattle events for April 2019," 5 Apr. 2019 The theater is my world and both theatre and couture are invented realities—fantasies that reflect and refract our reality. Jordan Roth, Vogue, "Jordan Roth: A Man’s View on the Haute Couture," 28 Jan. 2019 During a total eclipse, the only light reflected back to us from the moon has been refracted, or bent, around the curvature of the Earth and through the atmosphere. Jill Kiedaisch, Popular Mechanics, "How a Total Lunar Eclipse Works," 18 Jan. 2019 In New York, where there's a workout to suit every individual predilection, the Pilates landscape has refracted into a rainbow of options. Laura Regensdorf, Vogue, "These 5 Pilates Studios Have Fierce—and Incredibly Fit—Followings for a Reason," 21 Sep. 2018 And while the bauble refracted every ounce of surrounding light, the actress's nail game was nearly as reflective, making for a timeless study in a flawless neutral hue. Calin Van Paris, Vogue, "Priyanka Chopra Reveals Her Engagement Ring—and the Perfect Matching Manicure Shade," 16 Aug. 2018 The infinite dimension and light-refracting properties of the crystals are inherently star-like, which aided in the structure’s overall vibrance. Lucia Tonelli, ELLE Decor, "How Architect Daniel Libeskind Redesigned the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Star," 15 Nov. 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

23 May 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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