refine

verb
re·​fine | \ ri-ˈfīn How to pronounce refine (audio) \
refined; refining

Definition of refine

transitive verb

1 : to free (something, such as metal, sugar, or oil) from impurities or unwanted material
2 : to free from moral imperfection : elevate
3 : to improve or perfect by pruning or polishing refine a poetic style
4 : to reduce in vigor or intensity
5 : to free from what is coarse, vulgar, or uncouth

intransitive verb

1 : to become pure or perfected
2 : to make improvement by introducing subtleties or distinctions

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Other Words from refine

refiner noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for refine

Synonyms

ameliorate, amend, better, enhance, enrich, help, improve, meliorate, perfect, upgrade

Antonyms

worsen

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Examples of refine in a Sentence

The inventor of the machine spent years refining the design. The class is meant to help you refine your writing style.

Recent Examples on the Web

Rivertail will serve lunch and dinner, and focus on providing guests a fun, upbeat atmosphere that is refined, yet approachable enough for families. Phillip Valys, sun-sentinel.com, "Jose Mendin’s Rivertail restaurant docking on Fort Lauderdale’s Las Olas Riverfront," 10 Sep. 2019 Andy’s refined take on what is still a dead-simple dish is a game changer. Adam Rapoport, Bon Appétit, "I'm Making a Lot of Tomato Toast Right Now," 20 Aug. 2019 Researchers are continuing to refine the technology. Bret Stetka, Scientific American, "Antisense Drugs for Huntington’s, ALS and Prion Diseases Could Meet the Dire Need for Brain Treatments," 15 Aug. 2019 Character is refined by sticking around even when things are hard. Justin Ricklefs, Redbook, "9 Things Fatherhood Has Taught Me About Being a Man," 10 June 2019 Seek the help of a partner or close friend to refine and polish them. Tribune Content Agency, oregonlive, "Horoscope for Sept. 12, 2019: Happy birthday Emmy Rossum; Pisces, meditate to improve your mood," 12 Sep. 2019 If everything goes according to the current plan, Google will get feedback from San Jose residents on the initial framework, refine the plans and file an application with the city in October. George Avalos, The Mercury News, "Google unveils its vision for downtown San Jose transit village," 23 Aug. 2019 While the industry works out how to refine and scale fabric-recycling, more clothes head to landfills or get incinerated. Marc Bain, Quartzy, "There’s never been a better time—or more need—to buy your clothes used," 16 Aug. 2019 Ideas are more likely to be refined and improved if vigorously questioned and tested. The Economist, "As societies polarise, free speech is under threat. It needs defenders," 15 Aug. 2019

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

1582, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

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Statistics for refine

Last Updated

20 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for refine

The first known use of refine was in 1582

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More Definitions for refine

refine

verb

English Language Learners Definition of refine

: to remove the unwanted substances in (something)
: to improve (something) by making small changes

refine

verb
re·​fine | \ ri-ˈfīn How to pronounce refine (audio) \
refined; refining

Kids Definition of refine

1 : to bring to a pure state refine sugar
2 : to make better : improve He's refining his recipe.
re·​fine | \ ri-ˈfīn How to pronounce refine (audio) \
refined; refining

Medical Definition of refine

: to free (as sugar or oil) from impurities or unwanted material

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More from Merriam-Webster on refine

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with refine

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for refine

Spanish Central: Translation of refine

Nglish: Translation of refine for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of refine for Arabic Speakers

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