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

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Gears inside the 1891 Ladd Observatory’s 12-inch refractor telescope. Carlos R. Muñoz,, 18 Feb. 2022 The area, featuring a large refractor telescope with a 10-inch lens, has been off-limits to the public as a pandemic precaution since March 2020. Dewayne Bevil,, 5 Nov. 2021 Van de Kamp had been using Sproul Observatory’s 61-centimeter refractor telescope to take photographic plates of Barnard’s Star. Bruce Dorminey, Forbes, 19 May 2021 Schmidt Cassegrain scopes are basically a design combining the optics of both the reflector and refractor scopes. Mike Lynch, Twin Cities, 24 Nov. 2019 There are three basic types of telescopes; reflectors, refractors, and Schmidt Cassegrain telescopes. Mike Lynch, Twin Cities, 24 Nov. 2019 Distinctive and ornate, the building’s main feature is what’s touted as the world’s largest refractor telescope — with a 40-inch lens, 63-foot tube and total weight of 20 tons. Ted Gregory,, 5 July 2018 That’s the home of the Florida’s largest publicly accessible refractor telescope, armed with a 10-inch lens. Dewayne Bevil,, 3 July 2018 Roughly 12 percent were flagged as having weak vision and sent to an adjacent classroom where workers using refractor lenses conducted more tests. Andrew Jacobs, New York Times, 5 May 2018 See More

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

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 5 Dec. 2022.

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
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