Definition of refractory
- a refractory lesion
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refractory players will be ejected from the game
believing that rules are only for other people, he's been refractory virtually his entire life
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'refractory.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Refractory is from the Latin word refractarius. During the 17th century, it was sometimes spelled as refractary, but that spelling, though more in keeping with its Latin parent, had fallen out of use by the century's end. Refractarius, like refractory, is the result of a slight variation in spelling. It stems from the Latin verb refragari, meaning "to oppose."
balky, contrary, contumacious, defiant, disobedient, froward, incompliant, insubordinate, intractable, obstreperous, rebel, rebellious, recalcitrant, restive, ungovernable, unruly, untoward, wayward, willful (or wilful);
adamant, adamantine, dogged, hardheaded, headstrong, immovable, implacable, inflexible, mulish, obdurate, obstinate, opinionated, peevish, pertinacious, pigheaded, rigid, self-willed, stubborn, unbending, uncompromising, unrelenting, unyielding;
medical : difficult to treat or cure
: difficult to control or deal with
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