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

Duqm is earmarked as the site of a vast new container port, refinery and industrial zone that, it is hoped, will help move the country away from dependence on oil revenues. Eoghan Macguire, CNN, "Can Duqm become the Arab world's next 'great city?'," 3 June 2018 The deaths occurred as authorities worked to contain an oil spill in central Cuba's Cienfuegos Bay that followed the flooding of nearby oil refinery. Jeffrey S. Collins, Fox News, "Alberto's last gasp: Mudslides and flooding in Appalachia," 1 June 2018 Before the boom in shale oil production, refineries along the Gulf of Mexico were designed to process heavy oil grades from Canada, Mexico and Venezuela. Clifford Krauss, New York Times, "‘Mexico First’ Campaign Could End Welcome for U.S. Oil Giants," 26 Apr. 2018 The tank farm stores fuel carried in underground pipelines from refineries in Salt Lake City. Sven Berg, idahostatesman, "A 60-year-old fuel terminal could leave Boise’s Bench. Here’s what could replace it.," 11 July 2018 He is expected, for example, to direct Pemex to build new refineries in Mexico to reduce dependence on foreign gasoline, which would have significant implications for U.S. refiners. James Osborne, San Antonio Express-News, "As likely Mexican president Obrador softens tone, U.S. oil sector crosses fingers," 29 June 2018 Ethanol supporters also have criticized EPA waivers exempting some small refineries from the biofuel blending requirements. Mario Parker,, "Trump to Hit Refiners With Biofuels Boost," 26 June 2018 There’s what might be a fireball, and an oil refinery exploding, and glowing green computer code. Jeffrey Gantz,, "Wayne McGregor asks the big questions in ‘Atomos’," 5 May 2018 An explosion at an oil refinery in Wisconsin on Thursday resulted in at least 20 casualties, fire officials told KQDS. Fox News, "Explosion at Wisconsin oil refinery results in at least 20 casualties, report says," 26 Apr. 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

11 Sep 2018

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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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