refine

verb

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

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
refiner noun

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 In this emerging landscape, the 3% rule becomes a guiding principle for broadcasters and technologists alike, emphasizing that sometimes the most meaningful innovations are those that refine and redefine our experiences without displacing them. Nate Lorenzen, Forbes, 26 Feb. 2024 Additional prompts providing specific literary terms for the chatbot to incorporate into the essay helped refine the work. Kelly Meyerhofer, Journal Sentinel, 26 Feb. 2024 Ragans refined his slider and tinkered with a two-seam fastball. Jaylon Thompson, Kansas City Star, 26 Feb. 2024 Its military has adapted by pairing older unguided artillery with sensors and drones, which can be used to spot targets and refine their shots. Alex Horton, Washington Post, 22 Feb. 2024 In other words, Buehler is having to retrace some of his old rehab steps — like completing an offseason throwing program, refining his mechanics in bullpen sessions and seeing how well his arm bounces back between outings this go around. Jack Harris, Los Angeles Times, 22 Feb. 2024 Not exactly, though even the iconic mall clothing retailer is using AI to refine its products. Morgan Haefner, Quartz, 16 Feb. 2024 This process helps refine your product, ensuring the final version is polished and user-centric. Ranghan Venkatraman, Forbes, 13 Feb. 2024 As one of the most powerful forces in sports and media, and by far TV’s main attraction, the NFL has thus refined its approach throughout the years. Brian Lowry, CNN, 8 Feb. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'refine.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1582, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of refine was in 1582

Dictionary Entries Near refine

Cite this Entry

“Refine.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/refine. Accessed 4 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition

refine

verb
re·​fine ri-ˈfīn How to pronounce refine (audio)
refined; refining
1
: to come or bring to a pure state
refine sugar
2
: to make or become improved
3
: to free from what is vulgar
4
: to improve by introducing something that makes a small difference
refined upon the older methods
refiner noun

Medical Definition

refine

transitive verb
re·​fine ri-ˈfīn How to pronounce refine (audio)
refined; refining
: to free (as sugar or oil) from impurities or unwanted material

More from Merriam-Webster on refine

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