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 ©2019 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.