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 In essence, the key CDC study, which was reported in 2006, suggested a refinement to the PrEP strategy that other researchers had already shown had great promise. Jon Cohen, Science | AAAS, "Untangling the Trump administration’s lawsuit over an HIV prevention drug," 8 Nov. 2019 This human refinement process, however, is crucial for helping the AI system learn and therefore guaranteeing the best scientific results. Alix Lacoste, STAT, "AI will revolutionize drug discovery — but only if experts are involved," 1 Nov. 2019 But just as this new technique offers a refinement of the approach pioneered in 2012, prime editing is also a jumping-off point for future innovation. Lila Thulin, Smithsonian, "A New Gene Editing Tool Could Make CRISPR More Precise," 22 Oct. 2019 One expectation is a refinement of a plan announced in June to increase the current level of U.S. troops in Poland from 4,500 to 5,500, a plan that Russia has vowed to meet with retaliation. Vanessa Gera,, "Trump cancels Poland trip because of hurricane," 30 Aug. 2019 The larger interior sports a newfound refinement that's quite fetching, anchored by an 11.5-inch vertical tablet-style screen on most models. Larry Printz, Dallas News, "The 2020 Subaru Outback is a family hauling staple, even after six generations," 10 Aug. 2019 Barnatan’s programming is a refinement of that of the previous director, violinist Cho-Liang Lin. Los Angeles Times, "Commentary: La Jolla’s SummerFest has a new artistic director to go with its new concert hall," 5 Aug. 2019 Their method is a refinement of the major work that came before them. Quanta Magazine, "Mathematicians Discover the Perfect Way to Multiply," 11 Apr. 2019 According to Gregor, their work indicates that there’s no need for 20 questions or a gradual refinement of knowledge after all. Jordana Cepelewicz, WIRED, "The Mysterious Math of How Cells Determine Their Own Fate," 24 Mar. 2019

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

31 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Refinement.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 20 January 2020.

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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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Comments on refinement

What made you want to look up refinement? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


not to be intimidated or subdued

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