In ophthalmology, to determine the bending of light that takes place within the human eye. Refractive errors include nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia), and astigmatism. Lenses can be used to control the amount of refraction, correcting those errors.
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1. To change the direction of a ray of light. 2. To detect an error of refraction and to correct it by means of lenses. [L. refringo, pp. -fractus, to break up]

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re·fract ri-'frakt vt
1) to subject (as a ray of light) to refraction
2) to determine the refracting power of or abnormality of refraction in (as an eye or a lens)

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re·fract (re-fraktґ) [L. refringere to break apart] 1. to cause to deviate. 2. to ascertain errors of ocular refraction.

Medical dictionary. 2011.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • Refract — Re*fract (r?*fr$kt ), v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Refracted}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Refracting}.] [L. refractus, p. p. of refringere; pref. re re + frangere to break: cf. F. r[ e]fracter. SEe {FRacture}, and cf. {Refrain}, n.] 1. To bend sharply and abruptly …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • refract — (v.) 1610s, from L. refractus, pp. of refringere (see REFRACTION (Cf. refraction)). Related: Refracted; refracting …   Etymology dictionary

  • refract — ► VERB ▪ (of water, air, or glass) make (a ray of light) change direction when it enters at an angle. ORIGIN Latin refringere break up …   English terms dictionary

  • refract — [ri frakt′] vt. [< L refractus, pp. of refringere, to turn aside < re , back + frangere, to BREAK] 1. to cause (a ray or wave of light, heat, or sound) to undergo refraction 2. Optics to measure the degree of refraction of (an eye or lens)… …   English World dictionary

  • refract — UK [rɪˈfrækt] / US verb [transitive] Word forms refract : present tense I/you/we/they refract he/she/it refracts present participle refracting past tense refracted past participle refracted physics if a surface such as water or glass refracts… …   English dictionary

  • refract — transitive verb Etymology: Latin refractus, past participle of refringere to break open, break up, from re + frangere to break more at break Date: 1612 1. a. to subject (as a ray of light) to refraction b. to alter or distort as if by refraction… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • refract — verb a) To change direction as a result of entering a different medium A prism can refract light. b) (Optics) To cause (light) to change direction as a result of entering a different medium. See Also: refractive, refracti …   Wiktionary

  • refract — [[t]rɪfræ̱kt[/t]] refracts, refracting, refracted V ERG When a ray of light or a sound wave refracts or is refracted, the path it follows bends at a particular point, for example when it enters water or glass. [V n] As we age the lenses of the… …   English dictionary

  • refract — verb 1》 (of water, air, or glass) make (a ray of light) change direction when it enters at an angle.     ↘change the direction of propagation of (radio, sound, or other waves) by causing them to travel at different speeds at different points… …   English new terms dictionary

  • refract — 1 (of water, air, glass, etc.) deflect (a ray of light etc.) at a certain angle when it enters obliquely from another medium. 2 determine the refractive condition of (the eye). Etymology: L refringere refract (as RE , frangere break) …   Useful english dictionary

  • refract — refractable, adj. refractedly, adv. refractedness, n. /ri frakt /, v.t. 1. to subject to refraction. 2. to determine the refractive condition of (an eye). [1605 15; < L refractus, ptp. of refringere to break, force back, equiv. to re RE + frac… …   Universalium

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