verb (used with object)

  1. to subject to refraction.
  2. to determine the refractive condition of (an eye).

verb (tr)

  1. to cause to undergo refraction
  2. to measure the refractive capabilities of (the eye, a lens, etc)

“to bend” (light, sound, heat, etc.), 1610s, back-formation from refraction, and in part from Latin refractus, past participle of refringere. Related: Refracted; refracting.


  1. To deflect something, especially light, from a straight path by refraction.
  2. To determine the refraction of an eye or a lens.
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