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


advance, advancement, breakthrough, enhancement, improvement



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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

Most of its recent products—which are generally still well-designed, high-quality devices (ignoring its laptops)—have just been refinements on existing device lines. Mike Murphy, Quartz, "When is Apple going to release something more than a slightly nicer iPhone?," 21 Aug. 2019 The Galaxy Watch Active2 has also been put through the design refinement ringer. Wired, "Samsung's Galaxy Watch Active2 Is Its Latest Swipe at Apple," 5 Aug. 2019 Adidas worked with the school on the new design, which among other minor refinements now depicts the dunking mascot wearing Adidas shoes. Danielle Lerner, The Courier-Journal, "Louisville basketball: KFC Yum Center court gets a makeover with dunking cardinal," 1 Aug. 2019 Prices will fall, technology will trickle down so expect to see the smooth power and design refinements from this bike make their way across the e-bike landscape. Matt Phillips, Popular Mechanics, "The Specialized Turbo Creo SL Is an E-Bike That Changes Everything," 16 July 2019 Packing a 48-volt motor-generator, an electric supercharger, and a conventional turbocharger around a 3.0-liter inline-six, the 429-hp AMG E53 raises the ante on performance and refinement. Car and Driver, "2019 10Best Cars," 28 Nov. 2018 Despite decades of refinement, the violent compression always mixes hot and cold parts of the imploding fuel together, limiting the results. Mark Buchanan, Twin Cities, "Mark Buchanan: The great, maddening promise of fusion energy," 4 Aug. 2019 Schindler says the test is not perfect yet, and needs more refinement and validation in larger groups of patients. Alice Park, Time, "A New Alzheimer's Blood Test Proved 94% Accurate in Finding Brain Changes Related to the Disease," 1 Aug. 2019 This one is very much about refinement and ushering in a new era of third-party software on macOS. Chris Welch, The Verge, "macOS Catalina first look: goodbye iTunes, hello iPad apps on Mac," 24 June 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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Statistics for refinement

Last Updated

27 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for refinement

The first known use of refinement was circa 1611

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More Definitions for refinement



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).


authorized for issue (as a bond)

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