re·​fine·​ment | \ ri-ˈfīn-mənt How to pronounce refinement (audio) \

Definition of refinement

1 : the action or process of refining
2 : the quality or state of being refined : cultivation
3a : a refined feature or method
b : a highly refined distinction : subtlety
c : a contrivance or device intended to improve or perfect

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Synonyms & Antonyms for refinement



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Examples of refinement in a Sentence

the recent refinements in this area of medical technology had a sense of refinement that her small hometown couldn't satisfy, so she moved to New York City to be closer to great museums and concert halls
Recent Examples on the Web What's really surprising about the mid-engine Corvette, though, is its refinement and versatility. Car and Driver, "10Best Cars and Trucks for 2021," 18 Nov. 2020 My recent romp through Kia, Hyundai and Genesis products has illustrated how the organization calibrates isolation and refinement as a function of cost and brand. Dan Neil, WSJ, "2021 Kia Sorento: Finally, an SUV That’s the Right Size for Families," 16 Dec. 2020 Disobedience, Ammonite’s refinement merely lifts up the skirts of what is essentially romance-novel passion. Armond White, National Review, "In Ammonite, Artistry Competes with a Demand for Allyship," 13 Nov. 2020 Rather, the new iMac represents a subtle refinement of one of the world’s best (albeit priciest) computers. Samuel Axon, Ars Technica, "2020 27-inch iMac review: A classic Mac for the end of an era," 13 Aug. 2020 The final month of the season must represent a period of refinement so this unit is in top form entering the postseason. Mike Jones, USA TODAY, "Opinion: Many of NFL's top teams turn in defining performances as final month kicks off," 7 Dec. 2020 Food was play, indulgence, refinement, elegance: anything but politics. Aaron Timms, The New Republic, "The Tangled Legacy of James Beard," 4 Dec. 2020 But the engine is short on refinement, sounding loud and diesel-like under gentle loads and becoming coarse at higher revs. Mike Duff, Car and Driver, "2021 Land Rover Defender 90 Puts the Defender In its Purest Form," 29 Oct. 2020 Last year's iPhone 11 Pro concluded a couple of years of refinement on that design, and most of what the iPhone X introduced became really attractive in the last few years. Samuel Axon, Ars Technica, "iPhone 12 and 12 Pro double review: Playing Apple’s greatest hits," 29 Oct. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'refinement.' 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 refinement

circa 1611, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for refinement

Time Traveler

The first known use of refinement was circa 1611

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Statistics for refinement

Last Updated

11 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Refinement.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for refinement


How to pronounce refinement (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of refinement

: the act or process of removing unwanted substances from something : the act or process of making something pure
: the act or process of improving something
: an improved version of something


re·​fine·​ment | \ ri-ˈfīn-mənt How to pronounce refinement (audio) \

Kids Definition of refinement

1 : the act or process of improving something or bringing something to a pure state refinement of sugar
2 : excellence of manners or tastes a person of refinement
3 : a small change meant to improve something

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