adjective, noun, plural -ries.
–adjective 1. hard or impossible to manage; stubbornly disobedient: a refractory child.
2. resisting ordinary methods of treatment.
3. difficult to fuse, reduce, or work, as an ore or metal.
4. a material having the ability to retain its physical shape and chemical identity when subjected to high temperatures.
5. refractories, bricks of various shapes used in lining furnaces.
[ 1600–10; var. of refractary (by analogy with adjectives in -ory 1 ) < L refrāctārius stubborn, obstinate, equiv. to refrāct(us) (see refract ) + -ārius -ary ]
Their bad example and the refractory, disobedient spirit of a considerable part of the crew caused great anxiety and trouble, both to the Surgeon Superintendent and to the Master and his Officers.
--Rootsweb, page on Sir Robert Sale