refine

verb
re·​fine | \ ri-ˈfīn \
refined; refining

Definition of refine

transitive verb

1 : to free (something, such as metal, sugar, or oil) from impurities or unwanted material
2 : to free from moral imperfection : elevate
3 : to improve or perfect by pruning or polishing refine a poetic style
4 : to reduce in vigor or intensity
5 : to free from what is coarse, vulgar, or uncouth

intransitive verb

1 : to become pure or perfected
2 : to make improvement by introducing subtleties or distinctions

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Other Words from refine

refiner noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for refine

Synonyms

ameliorate, amend, better, enhance, enrich, help, improve, meliorate, perfect, upgrade

Antonyms

worsen

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Examples of refine in a Sentence

The inventor of the machine spent years refining the design. The class is meant to help you refine your writing style.

Recent Examples on the Web

Even Daniel Lee’s refined Bottega Veneta debut had something funny about it, in the form of vibrant azure boots. Steff Yotka, Vogue, "The Top Trends of Pre-Fall 2019," 19 Dec. 2018 Things were refined next year with the Pixel 2 (and a great camera helped), but absent features left us wanting more. Darren Orf, Popular Mechanics, "The Pixel 3’s Greatness Is Measured in Millimeters," 15 Oct. 2018 The Andean nation subsequently refined the laws to guarantee parity. Paola Flores, Fox News, "As women's roles expand in Bolivian politics, so do attacks," 25 Aug. 2018 Pruitt’s tastes in snacks are rather refined, according to former aides. James Hohmann, Washington Post, "The Daily 202: Rod Rosenstein delivers a stirring lecture on the rule of law, but actions matter more than words," 8 June 2018 The gold extracted from southern Venezuela is bought up by government brokers and shipped by Venezuela’s central bank to Turkey, where Caracas says it is being refined and safeguarded from intensifying U.S. sanctions. Kejal Vyas |, WSJ, "Desperate Venezuelans Dig Up Paradise in Search of Gold," 20 Nov. 2018 Each part of the process is completely organic, natural, and biodegradable, and the finished products are refined and elegant—not crafty. Emily Farra, Vogue, "The Duo Behind Cesta Collective Is Building a “Next-Gen Sustainable Brand” in Africa," 16 Nov. 2018 The researchers hope to refine their system and explore ways to further lower the cost of this next-generation rechargeable grid battery. Megan Geuss, Ars Technica, "Researchers propose a cheap nickel-hydrogen battery for grid storage," 31 Oct. 2018 Basra was getting $1 for each barrel of oil produced or refined and for every 150 cubic meters (196 cubic yards) of gas produced, along with 5 percent from the taxes collected at border-crossings and sea ports. Sinan Salaheddin, Fox News, "Southern Iraq's woes to continue, renewed protests possible," 19 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'refine.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of refine

1582, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

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Statistics for refine

Last Updated

13 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for refine

The first known use of refine was in 1582

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More Definitions for refine

refine

verb

English Language Learners Definition of refine

: to remove the unwanted substances in (something)

: to improve (something) by making small changes

refine

verb
re·​fine | \ ri-ˈfīn \
refined; refining

Kids Definition of refine

1 : to bring to a pure state refine sugar
2 : to make better : improve He's refining his recipe.
re·​fine | \ ri-ˈfīn \
refined; refining

Medical Definition of refine

: to free (as sugar or oil) from impurities or unwanted material

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More from Merriam-Webster on refine

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with refine

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for refine

Spanish Central: Translation of refine

Nglish: Translation of refine for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of refine for Arabic Speakers

Comments on refine

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