re·​frac·​tor ri-ˈfrak-tər How to pronounce refractor (audio)
: a telescope whose principal focusing element is a lens

Examples of refractor in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web There’s even a broadcast feed for those who can’t climb the narrow steps to the observatory’s 8-inch refractor telescope. Laura Randall, Los Angeles Times, 16 May 2024 Last year, an autographed Bowman chrome refractor card of Ohtani in his 2018 rookie year fetched $184,000. Samantha Masunaga, Los Angeles Times, 27 Mar. 2024 Types of telescopes and their purposes Amateur astronomers and novice stargazers can choose from three popular models: the refractor telescope, the reflector telescope, and the compound telescope. Chicago Tribune, 20 Feb. 2023 This photograph was taken by Markus Noga with a 4-inch (100 mm) refractor telescope. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, 20 Nov. 2023 Mercury, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn and Venus can be seen anytime with a five-inch refractor telescope, according to the Phoenix Astronomical Society. Michael Salerno, The Arizona Republic, 5 July 2023 Installed in 1847, the great refractor with its fifteen-inch lens was, for twenty years, the largest telescope in the U.S. Lucy Evans, Scientific American, 22 June 2023 This refractor model comes with two eyepieces (20mm and 10mm) and a Barlow lens that doubles its magnification power. Jen McCaffery, Popular Science, 21 June 2023 The scope was nothing fancy, the kind of simple refractor that today would cost about $100. Steve Mirsky, Scientific American, 1 Nov. 2013

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'refractor.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1769, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of refractor was in 1769

Dictionary Entries Near refractor

Cite this Entry

“Refractor.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


re·​frac·​tor ri-ˈfrak-tər How to pronounce refractor (audio)
: a telescope in which the principal light-gathering element is a lens
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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