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2017 Word of the Year

refinement

[ri-fahyn-muh nt] /rɪˈfaɪn mənt/
noun
1.
fineness or elegance of feeling, taste, manners, language, etc.
2.
an instance of refined feeling, manners, etc.
3.
the act or process of refining.
4.
the quality or state of being refined.
5.
a subtle point or distinction.
6.
subtle reasoning.
7.
an improved, higher, or extreme form of something:
a refinement of the old system.
8.
Mathematics. a set whose elements include the elements of a given set.
Origin of refinement
1605-1615
First recorded in 1605-15; refine + -ment
Related forms
nonrefinement, noun
prerefinement, noun
self-refinement, noun
superrefinement, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for refinement
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • For a woman of her refinement, she had the strangest proclivity for low company!

    Weighed and Wanting George MacDonald
  • I am sick of Mrs General's good breeding and refinement, papa,' said Fanny. '

    Little Dorrit Charles Dickens
  • I desire to imitate the committee in their refinement and delicacy of distinction.

    Slavery Ordained of God Rev. Fred A. Ross, D.D.
  • Mrs. Rice is a lady of refinement, exemplary, and much beloved and respected.

  • The refinement and the multiplicity of pleasures also diminish the attractions of marriage.

    The Sexual Question August Forel
British Dictionary definitions for refinement

refinement

/rɪˈfaɪnmənt/
noun
1.
the act of refining or the state of being refined
2.
a fine or delicate point, distinction, or expression; a subtlety
3.
fineness or precision of thought, expression, manners, etc; polish or cultivation
4.
a device, change, adaptation, etc, designed to improve performance or increase efficiency
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for refinement
n.

1610s, "act or process of refining; state of being pure," from refine + -ment. Meaning "fineness of feeling" is from 1708.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Nearby words for refinement

Word Value for refinement

15
18
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