re·​fin·​ery | \ ri-ˈfī-nə-rē How to pronounce refinery (audio) , -ˈfīn-rē \
plural refineries

Definition of refinery

: a building and equipment for refining or processing something (such as oil or sugar)

Examples of refinery in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web China's Sinopec has slashed its overall crude throughput by about 13% and its refineries are operating in China at minimum run rates, according to Platts. Matt Egan, CNN, "Oil is in a tailspin over the coronavirus and OPEC might not be coming to the rescue," 6 Feb. 2020 Meridian began site work in 2018, aiming to have the refinery operating by mid-2021. Washington Post, "Planned refinery by national park hurt by funding, lawsuits," 10 Jan. 2020 The refinery would turn fracked gas from Canada into methanol, which would be shipped to China to make plastics. USA TODAY, "El Paso memorial, hogs by helicopter, trees for troops: News from around our 50 states," 14 Nov. 2019 But such a devastating cyberoperation would also increase the risk of escalation — just as a bombing run on the oil refineries would. David E. Sanger, New York Times, "The Urgent Search for a Cyber Silver Bullet Against Iran," 23 Sep. 2019 Last month mysterious explosions damaged undersea pipelines that carry oil from vessels to the refinery at Baniyas, temporarily halting imports. The Economist, "Oil shortages in Syria are starting to hurt," 11 July 2019 The refinery, the largest on the East Coast and vital to the gasoline supply in the Northeast, is shutting down and will be put up for sale. Daniel Kruger, WSJ, "Oil Jumps on Supply Concerns, as Stockpiles Fall by Most Since 2016," 26 June 2019 Modern process heaters for the Pine Bend refinery are reducing energy use and pollutants sharply compared to 50-year-old ones. Edward Lotterman, Twin Cities, "Real World Economics: One can be thankful for much even amid pessimism," 1 Dec. 2019 Lower was 23 when he was killed during an attack by U.S. Army Air Force bombers on oil refineries in Romania in August 1943, Simmons said. USA TODAY, "Feral pig invasion, giant Christmas pyramid, rampaging fox attacks humans: News from around our 50 states," 20 Nov. 2019

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

circa 1741, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for refinery

Time Traveler

The first known use of refinery was circa 1741

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Statistics for refinery

Last Updated

13 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Refinery.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for refinery


How to pronounce refinery (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of refinery

: a place where the unwanted substances in something (such as oil or sugar) are removed : a place where something is refined


re·​fin·​ery | \ ri-ˈfī-nə-rē How to pronounce refinery (audio) \
plural refineries

Kids Definition of refinery

: a building and equipment where something (as oil or metal) is made pure and ready for use

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More from Merriam-Webster on refinery

Spanish Central: Translation of refinery

Nglish: Translation of refinery for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of refinery for Arabic Speakers

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