refine

[ ri-fahyn ]
/ rɪˈfaɪn /

verb (used with object), re·fined, re·fin·ing.

verb (used without object), re·fined, re·fin·ing.

Verb Phrases

refine on/upon, to improve by inserting finer distinctions, superior elements, etc.: to refine on one's previous work.

Origin of refine

First recorded in 1575–85; re- + fine1
Related forms
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for refine

British Dictionary definitions for refine

refine

/ (rɪˈfaɪn) /

verb

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

Word Origin for refine

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 refine

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for refine

refine

[ rĭ-fīn ]

v.

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