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refine

[ri-fahyn]
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verb (used with object), re·fined, re·fin·ing.
  1. to bring to a fine or a pure state; free from impurities: to refine metal, sugar, or petroleum.
  2. to purify from what is coarse, vulgar, or debasing; make elegant or cultured.
  3. to bring to a finer state or form by purifying.
  4. to make more fine, subtle, or precise: to refine one's writing style.
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verb (used without object), re·fined, re·fin·ing.
  1. to become pure: The silver is refining in the furnace.
  2. to become more fine, elegant, or polished: His parents hope that his manners will refine as he gets older.
  3. to make fine distinctions in thought or language.
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Verb Phrases
  1. refine on/upon, to improve by inserting finer distinctions, superior elements, etc.: to refine on one's previous work.
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Origin of refine

First recorded in 1575–85; re- + fine1
Related formsre·fin·a·ble, adjectivere·fin·er, nounpre·re·fine, verb (used with object), pre·re·fined, pre·re·fin·ing.self-re·fin·ing, adjectivesu·per·re·fine, verb (used with object), su·per·re·fined, su·per·re·fin·ing.un·re·fin·ing, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for refiner

Historical Examples

  • Daniel, the refiner of metals, declares it is a rich specimen of silver.

    Canada: the Empire of the North

    Agnes C. Laut

  • He shall be as a refiner's fire, and the righteous are saved as by fire.

  • Blessed be God, there is One who will sit as a refiner's fire, to purify the sons of Levi.

    George Whitefield

    Joseph Belcher

  • Like gold in the refiner's crucible, it shines the brighter for every effort to destroy it.

  • Upton, the refiner, has a smoky chimney, that sets him and all the neighbourhood by the ears.


British Dictionary definitions for refiner

refiner

noun
  1. a person, device, or substance that removes impurities, sediment, or other unwanted matter from something
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refine

verb
  1. to make or become free from impurities, sediment, or other foreign matter; purify
  2. (tr) to separate (a mixture) into pure constituents, as in an oil refinery
  3. to make or become free from coarse characteristics; make or become elegant or polished
  4. (tr often foll by out) to remove (something impure or extraneous)
  5. (intr ; often foll by on or upon) to enlarge or improve (upon) by making subtle or fine distinctions
  6. (tr) to make (language) more subtle or polished
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Derived Formsrefinable, adjective

Word Origin

C16: from re- + fine 1
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

Word Origin and History for refiner

refine

v.

1580s, of metals, c.1590 of manners, from re-, intensive prefix, + obsolete fine (v.) "make fine," from fine (adj.) "delicate." Cf. French raffiner, Italian raffinare, Spanish refinar. General and figurative sense is recorded from 1590s; of sugar, from 1610s. Related: Refined; refining.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

refiner in Medicine

refine

(rĭ-fīn)
v.
  1. To reduce to a pure state; purify.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.