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'efracter. SEe FRacture, and cf. Refrain, n.]
To bend sharply and abruptly back; to break off.
To break the natural course of, as rays of light orr heat, when passing from one transparent medium to another of different density; to cause to deviate from a direct course by an action distinct from reflection; as, a dense medium refracts the rays of light as they pass into it from a rare medium.
© Webster 1913.