from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Capable of being refracted.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Capable of being refracted in passing from one medium to another, as rays of light. The violet rays in the spectrum are more refrangible than those of greater wave-length, as the red rays.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Capable of being refracted, or turned out of a direct course, in passing from one medium to another, as rays of light.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective dated That may be refracted


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[From Latin refringere, to refract (influenced by refract).]


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  • The calculation may be related to Edward Hussey Delaval's work on this subject, read at the Royal Society of London in January 1765 and published as a pamphlet later that year. 6 In that paper, Delaval related color to density, as specific gravity, suggesting that greater density should reflect the more refrangible rays. reference

    The Creation of Color in Eighteenth-Century Europe

  • When we say that the blood circulates, that the air is weighty, that the rays of the sun are a bundle of seven refrangible rays, it follows not that we are of the sect of Harvey, of Torricelli, or of

    A Philosophical Dictionary

  • In 1889 Widmark's important work had demonstrated that the most refrangible rays of the spectrum, in particular the ultraviolet rays, had a strong and specific effect on those parts of the body surface which were exposed to them.

    Physiology or Medicine 1903 - Presentation Speech

  • Finsen's stroke of genius in his later work was to attempt to make therapeutic use of the powerful biological effects of highly refrangible rays.

    Physiology or Medicine 1903 - Presentation Speech

  • "I was wondering what there is about the refrangible property of light that you thought might be offensive to religion?"

    A Canticle for Leibowitz

  • Thon Taddeo had been answering questions about his work with less reticence than usual, no longer worried, apparently, about such controversial subjects as the refrangible property of light, or the ambitious of Thon Esser Shon.

    A Canticle for Leibowitz

  • The bactericidal action of light appears to depend upon the more refrangible rays of the violet end of the spectrum and is noted whether the red yellow rays are transmitted or not.

    The Elements of Bacteriological Technique A Laboratory Guide for Medical, Dental, and Technical Students. Second Edition Rewritten and Enlarged.

  • The rays proceeding from atoms of small mass having less material momentum, are the most refrangible, and those possessing greater material momentum, are the least refrangible; so that instead of presenting a difficulty in the undulatory theory of light, this dispersion is a necessary consequence of its first principles.

    Outlines of a Mechanical Theory of Storms Containing the True Law of Lunar Influence

  • It was shown that the merest trace of soluble haloid would reverse an image by the extraction of bromine from it, and the fact that the most refrangible part of the spectrum was principally efficacious in completing this action showed how necessary it was to avoid falling into error when analyzing photographic action by the spectroscope.

    Scientific American Supplement, No. 392, July 7, 1883

  • There can be no doubt that the process, in a great majority, if not in all cases, which have been noticed among inorganic substances, is a deoxidizing one, so far as the more refrangible rays are concerned.

    Photographic Reproduction Processes


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  • "In subsequent experiments, Newton noted that if the rainbow was then passed through a second prism, rotated through an angle of 180 degrees, it became pure 'white' light again. Newton concluded that 'white' light was nothing more than, as he put it, 'a heterogeneous mixture of differently refrangible rays.' That is to say, 'white' light was composed of all colors."

    Amy Butler Greenfield, A Perfect Red: Empire, Espionage, and the Quest for the Color of Desire (New York: Harper Collins, 2005), 152.

    October 6, 2017