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

Since Garrett started her work on dryland farming the idea caught on and the Dry Farming Collaborative has formed to further refine the system. oregonlive.com, "Trial gardens show vegetables can be grown without irrigation," 11 June 2019 Jayanne English, a professor at the University of Manitoba, has spent her career refining art techniques for astronomical data. Mara Johnson-groh, Quartz, "Art plays an invaluable role in groundbreaking space discoveries," 8 June 2019 The challenges presented by events unfolding in Sudan provide a great opportunity for the AU to refine and consolidate its approach to supporting countries in crisis. Adem K Abebe, Quartz Africa, "In Sudan, the African Union reminds us it still has a key role in tackling the continent’s crises," 7 June 2019 After meeting with the Oak Lawn Committee, the developer went back to the drawing board to refine its plans. Steve Brown, Dallas News, "Oak Lawn tower plan pays homage to Dallas' long-lost Esquire Theater," 6 June 2019 Below the oxygen tank was a slightly smaller tank filled with highly refined kerosene. Oliver Morton, WIRED, "The Beauty and Madness of Sending a Man to the Moon," 4 June 2019 The neighborhood’s beer and refined-dining worlds meet at Sartre OTR, the new restaurant in the vast Rhinegeist Brewery building. Elaine Glusac, chicagotribune.com, "Don't underestimate dining scene in Cincinnati's dynamic Over-the-Rhine neighborhood," 8 May 2018 Since Friday, the website was refined to include click-on pages where riders can check routes in their part of the county. Mike Lindblom, The Seattle Times, "Metro buses still on reduced snow schedules while slush brings new driving risks," 12 Feb. 2019 State-of-the-art techniques, refined over nearly a century of work that started with Edwin Hubble himself, now give estimates that differ by a few per cent. Davide Castelvecchi, Scientific American, "Here Come the Waves," 23 Apr. 2018

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

16 Jun 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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