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(adj) stubborn, unmanageable. Origin: L re-, back + frangere, to break The inexperienced teacher found it impossible to manage the refractory students of her class. They were only a few but they did not let even the rest of the class study. She had tried every trick she could think of-making them stand outside the class, giving them punitive homework, writing notes to their parents, reporting them to the principal, ignoring them-but they refused to be affected. The little boy refused to bathe at all costs. The young mother tucked up the sleeves of her kurta, scooped him up, put him into the bath tub and with her big white muscular arms, washed the refractory child who continued to fight against the soap and water.

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