tr.v. re·fract·ed, re·fract·ing, re·fracts
1. To deflect (light, for example) from a straight path by refraction.
2. To alter by viewing through a medium: "In the Quartet reality is refracted through a variety of eyes" (Elizabeth Kastor).
3. Medicine To determine the refraction of (an eye, for example).
[Latin refringere, refrāct-, to break up : re-, re- + frangere, to break; see bhreg- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
The American Heritage Dictionary Blog
Check out our blog, updated regularly, for new words and revised definitions, interesting images from the 5th edition, discussions of usage, and more.