Definition of refractory period in English:

refractory period


  • A period immediately following stimulation during which a nerve or muscle is unresponsive to further stimulation.

    • ‘The refractory period sets a limit on the frequency at which action potentials can be conducted along single nerve fibres.’
    • ‘The alkaloid also acts on the myocardium to depress conduction and irritability, as well as to prolong the myocardial refractory period.’
    • ‘One pathway is relatively fast and has a long refractory period; the other pathway is slow with a short refractory period.’
    • ‘These actions are attributed to binding with nociceptors, which causes a period of enhanced sensitivity followed by a refractory period of reduced sensitivity.’
    • ‘The refractory period, the period following orgasm during which the person cannot be sexually aroused, lengthens.’