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refractory

[ri-frak-tuh-ree] /rɪˈfræk tə ri/
adjective
1.
hard or impossible to manage; stubbornly disobedient:
a refractory child.
2.
resisting ordinary methods of treatment.
3.
difficult to fuse, reduce, or work, as an ore or metal.
noun, plural refractories.
4.
a material having the ability to retain its physical shape and chemical identity when subjected to high temperatures.
5.
refractories, bricks of various shapes used in lining furnaces.
Origin
1600-1610
1600-10; variant of refractary (by analogy with adjectives in -ory1) < Latin refrāctārius stubborn, obstinate, equivalent to refrāct(us) (see refract) + -ārius -ary
Related forms
refractorily, adverb
refractoriness, noun
unrefractory, adjective
Synonyms
1. obstinate, perverse, mulish, headstrong, intractable, disobedient, recalcitrant, ungovernable. See unruly.
Antonyms
1. obedient, tractable.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for refractoriness

refractory

/rɪˈfræktərɪ/
adjective
1.
unmanageable or obstinate
2.
(med) not responding to treatment
3.
(of a material) able to withstand high temperatures without fusion or decomposition
noun (pl) -ries
4.
a material, such as fireclay or alumina, that is able to withstand high temperatures: used to line furnaces, kilns, etc
Derived Forms
refractorily, adverb
refractoriness, noun
Word Origin
C17: variant of obsolete refractary; see refract
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for refractoriness

refractory

adj.

"stubborn, obstinate, perverse," 1610s (earlier refractorious, 1550s, refractary, c.1600), from Latin refractarius "obstinate, stubborn," from past participle stem of refringere (see refraction). Related: Refractorily; refractoriness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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refractoriness in Medicine

refractory re·frac·to·ry (rĭ-frāk'tə-rē)
adj.

  1. Resistant to treatment, as a disease.

  2. Unresponsive to stimuli, as a muscle or nerve fiber.


re·frac'to·ri·ness n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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refractoriness in Science
refractory
  (rĭ-frāk'tə-rē)   
  1. Having a high melting point. Ceramics that are made from clay and minerals are often refractory, as are metal oxides and carbides. Refractory materials are often used as liners in furnaces.

  2. Resistant to heat.

  3. Of or relating to a refractory period.


The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Encyclopedia Article for refractoriness

refractory

any material that has an unusually high melting point and that maintains its structural properties at very high temperatures. Composed principally of ceramics, refractories are employed in great quantities in the metallurgical, glassmaking, and ceramics industries, where they are formed into a variety of shapes to line the interiors of furnaces, kilns, and other devices that process materials at high temperatures.

Learn more about refractory with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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