views updated

re·fract / riˈfrakt/ • v. [tr.] (usu. be refracted) (of water, air, or glass) make (a ray of light) change direction when it enters at an angle: the rays of light are refracted by the material of the lens. ∎  measure the focusing characteristics of (an eye) or of the eyes of (someone).ORIGIN: early 17th cent.: from Latin refract- ‘broken up,’ from the verb refringere, from re- ‘back’ + frangere ‘to break.’