- fineness or elegance of feeling, taste, manners, language, etc.
- an instance of refined feeling, manners, etc.
- the act or process of refining.
- the quality or state of being refined.
- a subtle point or distinction.
- subtle reasoning.
- an improved, higher, or extreme form of something: a refinement of the old system.
- Mathematics. a set whose elements include the elements of a given set.
Origin of refinement
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for refinement
Back in the USA, returning veterans found that the middle class had adopted the piano as a sign of refinement.Van Dyke Parks on How Songwriters Are Getting Screwed in the Digital Age
Van Dyke Parks
June 4, 2014
This was the world of Gustave H. our narrator assumes, one of refinement, poise, and impeccable service.Wes Anderson’s Austrian Muse: Stefan Zweig
February 26, 2014
They are the epitome of old-school rationality and refinement—or at least they were until now.The Royal Academy Wants You to Finish This Artwork
January 24, 2014
In this instance, the Ngram data offer a refinement, not a revelation.Why Big Data Doesn’t Live up to the Hype
January 4, 2014
The bride, Kamala, was exquisitely beautiful, but possessed none of the refinement prized by her in-laws.Hold Onto Your Penis
David Frum, Justin Green
November 29, 2012
For a woman of her refinement, she had the strangest proclivity for low company!Weighed and Wanting
I am sick of Mrs General's good breeding and refinement, papa,' said Fanny. 'Little Dorrit
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.Cleveland Past and Present
The refinement and the multiplicity of pleasures also diminish the attractions of marriage.The Sexual Question
- the act of refining or the state of being refined
- a fine or delicate point, distinction, or expression; a subtlety
- fineness or precision of thought, expression, manners, etc; polish or cultivation
- 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
Word Origin and History for refinement
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper