refractory period

noun

Definition of refractory period 

: the brief period immediately following the response especially of a muscle or nerve before it recovers the capacity to make a second response

called also refractory phase

First Known Use of refractory period

circa 1880, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about refractory period

Share refractory period

Statistics for refractory period

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for refractory period

The first known use of refractory period was circa 1880

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for refractory period

refractory period

noun

Medical Definition of refractory period 

: the brief period immediately following the response especially of a muscle or nerve before it recovers the capacity to make a second response

called also refractory phase

— see absolute refractory period, relative refractory period

More from Merriam-Webster on refractory period

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about refractory period

Comments on refractory period

What made you want to look up refractory period? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

occurring twice a year or every two years

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Food Quiz

True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!