re·​fin·​ery | \ ri-ˈfī-nə-rē , -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

In the informal community of Barrio Ingenio, named in reference to a long-vanished sugar refinery, Lissette Rolón and her family lost nearly everything when the waters suddenly rose. Andres Viglucci, miamiherald, "Puerto Rico’s housing crisis after Hurricane Maria | Miami Herald," 14 Feb. 2018 Hugues Bourgogne, general manager of the Convent refinery, said Shell wants to honor and respect those buried at the sites. Kevin Mcgill, The Christian Science Monitor, "Oil company works to preserve slave gravesite found on its land," 14 June 2018 Husky purchased the refinery from Calumet Specialty Products Partners in a $435 million deal last year, BNO News reports. Jamie Ducharme, Time, "Wisconsin Oil Refinery Explosion Injures 20, Forces Evacuations Within 10 Miles," 26 Apr. 2018 The refinery’s current owners, Carlyle Group and Energy Transfer Partners LP, will see their stake shrink to a combined 25 percent minority share. Andrew Maykuth,, "Court approves Philadelphia Energy Solutions' bankruptcy plan," 26 Mar. 2018 There were concerns about the business model of state oil company Petróleos Mexicanos, which includes hefty investment in refineries, and by the cancellation of the $13.3 billion Mexico City airport that is partly built. Anthony Harrup, WSJ, "Sticky Inflation Behind Bank of Mexico’s Rate Increase," 3 Jan. 2019 On a cloudy day unfit for flight on December 16, the Tulsamerican was sent deep into German territory to bomb fuel refineries near the Polish border, leading a squad of six bombers. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "The Massive Effort to Bring Home an MIA Pilot from World War II," 7 Nov. 2018 With a simple carbon tax replacing a thicket of restrictions, the oil company can, in theory, more accurately estimate its costs and the political risks that its wells and refineries are exposed to. Megan Geuss, Ars Technica, "Why would Exxon donate $1 million to a carbon tax initiative?," 9 Oct. 2018 An Enbridge spokesman disputed the thrust of the report, saying 30% of the oil that moves through Line 5 goes to Marathon and other metro Detroit oil refineries. Paul Egan, Detroit Free Press, "Line 5 pipeline study: Canada gets the oil, Michigan gets the risk," 30 May 2018

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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Statistics for refinery

Last Updated

13 Feb 2019

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Time Traveler for refinery

The first known use of refinery was circa 1741

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More Definitions for refinery



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 \
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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