[ri-fahyn-muh nt]


Origin of refinement

First recorded in 1605–15; refine + -ment
Related formsnon·re·fine·ment, nounpre·re·fine·ment, nounself-re·fine·ment, nounsu·per·re·fine·ment, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for refinement

Contemporary Examples of refinement

Historical Examples of refinement

  • 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.

British Dictionary definitions for refinement



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

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