Imagine yourself pulling a dog who doesn't want to walk. The dog is refractory, or stubbornly resisting your authority.

The word refractory comes from a Latin word meaning "obstinate" and can also be used to mean "not responsive to something." If you have a cold you can't shake, you could say you have a refractory cough. The word can also be used to describe a material that maintains its strength at very high heats. The outside of a space shuttle is made of refractory material, so that it can reenter the atmosphere without burning up.

Definitions of refractory
  1. adjective
    stubbornly resistant to authority or control
    “a refractory child”
    synonyms: fractious, recalcitrant
    not obeying or complying with commands of those in authority
  2. adjective
    not responding to treatment
    “a refractory case of acne”
    synonyms: stubborn
    not tractable; difficult to manage or mold
  3. adjective
    temporarily unresponsive or not fully responsive to nervous or sexual stimuli
    “the refractory period of a muscle fiber”
    not responding to some influence or stimulus
  4. noun
    lining consisting of material with a high melting point; used to line the inside walls of a furnace
    synonyms: furnace lining
    see moresee less
    type of:
    liner, lining
    a protective covering that protects an inside surface
Word Family

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