|1.||unmanageable or obstinate|
|2.||med not responding to treatment|
|3.||(of a material) able to withstand high temperatures without fusion or decomposition|
|—n , -ries|
|4.||a material, such as fireclay or alumina, that is able to withstand high temperatures: used to line furnaces, kilns, etc|
|[C17: variant of obsolete refractary; see |
refractory re·frac·to·ry (rĭ-frāk'tə-rē)
Resistant to treatment, as a disease.
Unresponsive to stimuli, as a muscle or nerve fiber.
|refractory (rĭ-frāk'tə-rē) Pronunciation Key
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.