re·​frac·​tive | \ ri-ˈfrak-tiv How to pronounce refractive (audio) \

Definition of refractive

1 : having power to refract
2 : relating or due to refraction

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Other Words from refractive

refractively adverb
refractiveness noun
refractivity \ ˌrē-​ˌfrak-​ˈti-​və-​tē How to pronounce refractive (audio) , ri-​ \ noun

Examples of refractive in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The warm, refractive tones played well with Hadid's blonde (yet still slightly burnished) mane, her golden goddess vibes furthered by a saffron tee and gilded chain. Calin Van Paris, Vogue, 3 Sep. 2021 Some children are progressing to high myopia, which is when a prescription or the refractive error is minus six diopters or more. Sumathi Reddy, WSJ, 31 May 2021 Nearly 80 percent of impaired vision is caused by cataracts or refractive disorders, which are treatable. Science, 3 Dec. 2020 To accompany her refractive and fringed Versace dress, Doja pulled her onyx mane into an extra-long updo, the ponytail tautly twisted and left to reach well past her hips. Calin Van Paris, Vogue, 31 Aug. 2020 These researchers found an older (over 500-million-years-old) trilobite eye a few years ago and noted a meager, non-calcite lens that left the refractive work to beefy cone cells. Scott K. Johnson, Ars Technica, 15 Aug. 2020 The ultra-thin eye piece is made possible by a holographic lens, which can be installed much closer to the display panel than a conventional refractive lens. Fortune, 7 July 2020 Holographic films used to focus the image onto the eye also eliminate the need for the kinds of bulky refractive lensing systems found in current headsets. Kyle Orland, Ars Technica, 30 June 2020 Johnson deftly spins the little that is definitively known about the life of Mary Ellen into a refractive portrait of a spirited, restless individual. The New Yorker, 7 June 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'refractive.' 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 refractive

1673, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for refractive

Time Traveler

The first known use of refractive was in 1673

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Dictionary Entries Near refractive

refraction circle


refractive index

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Statistics for refractive

Last Updated

8 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Refractive.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for refractive


re·​frac·​tive | \ ri-ˈfrak-tiv How to pronounce refractive (audio) \

Medical Definition of refractive

1 : having power to refract a refractive lens
2 : relating to or due to refraction refractive phenomena refractive dispersion of light

Other Words from refractive

refractively adverb


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