having or showing well-bred feeling, taste, etc.: refined people.
freed or free from coarseness, vulgarity, etc.: refined taste.
freed from impurities: refined sugar.
very subtle, precise, or exact: refined distinctions.

Nearby words

  1. reffo,
  2. refill,
  3. refinance,
  4. refinancing,
  5. refine,
  6. refinedly,
  7. refinement,
  8. refiner,
  9. refinery,
  10. refining

Origin of refined

First recorded in 1565–75; refine + -ed2

Related forms



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

to bring to a fine or a pure state; free from impurities: to refine metal, sugar, or petroleum.
to purify from what is coarse, vulgar, or debasing; make elegant or cultured.
to bring to a finer state or form by purifying.
to make more fine, subtle, or precise: to refine one's writing style.

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

to become pure: The silver is refining in the furnace.
to become more fine, elegant, or polished: His parents hope that his manners will refine as he gets older.
to make fine distinctions in thought or language.

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 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for refined

British Dictionary definitions for refined



not coarse or vulgar; genteel, elegant, or polite
subtle; discriminating
freed from impurities; purified



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 refined
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for refined




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.