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refractory period

noun, Physiology
1.
a short period after a nerve or muscle cell fires during which the cell cannot respond to additional stimulation.
Origin
1875-1880
1875-80
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for refractory period
  • When a neuron fires, it cannot fire again until it has recharged, a time known as the refractory period.
British Dictionary definitions for refractory period

refractory period

noun
1.
a period during which a nerve or muscle is incapable of responding to stimulation, esp immediately following a previous stimulation. In an absolute refractory period there is a total inability to respond; in an effective or relative refractory period there is a response to very large stimuli
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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refractory period in Medicine

refractory period n.
The period that follows effective stimulation, during which excitable tissue fails to respond to a stimulus of threshold intensity.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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refractory period in Science
refractory period  
The period immediately following the transmission of an impulse in nerve or muscle, in which a neuron or muscle cell regains its ability to transmit another impulse. See more at action potential.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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