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.
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.
refine on / upon to improve by inserting finer distinctions, superior elements, etc.: to refine on one's previous work.
- re·fin·a·ble, adjective
- re·fin·er, noun
- pre·re·fine, verb (used with object), pre·re·fined, pre·re·fin·ing.
- self-re·fin·ing, adjective
- su·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. 2023
How to use refine in a sentence
He used the strategy he had refined during the turnover at Temple, which was writing and rewriting concepts until they lodged in his brain.For undrafted NFL rookies, the odds were even longer this year. Isaiah Wright made it anyway. | Sam Fortier | November 20, 2020 | Washington Post
The systems are usually tested and refined throughout the year before being stretched to their limits during the actual event.How the pandemic readied Alibaba’s AI for the world’s biggest shopping day | Karen Hao | November 13, 2020 | MIT Technology Review
As computer scientists continue to refine and improve their algorithms, they’ll continue to blur the line between creativity and computation.
It feels very familiar—Microsoft has been refining the Xbox interface for years now and you won’t find any major tripping points.The Xbox Series X offers killer gaming—if your TV can handle it | Stan Horaczek | November 11, 2020 | Popular-Science
He bought two giant barrel smokers in May, and just as important, he and his pit team have refined their techniques.
Twin studies using EEG were subsequently performed more than a dozen times, refining protocols and controlling for design flaws.Knocking on Heaven's Door: True Stories of Unexplained, Uncanny Experiences at the Hour of Death | Patricia Pearson | August 11, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
But the New Year is also about planning ahead, refining a longer-term vision of balance and sustainability.
Other technologies are refining the concept of a “fit” between school and student.
Refining the way in which the screening is administered would be preferable to discarding it altogether, Knoepfler believes.Are PSA Screenings for Prostate Cancer Bad for Your Health? | Casey Schwartz | May 22, 2012 | THE DAILY BEAST
“We share this focus on refining, taking away complexity, removing anything unnecessary, doing fewer things but better,” he says.Nokia Lumia 900 Boasts Sleeker, More Modern Design Than Apple iPhone | Dan Lyons | January 10, 2012 | THE DAILY BEAST
The clay used in refining the sugar is dug close to the mill; it feels soft and fat in the fingers.Journal of a Voyage to Brazil | Maria Graham
The compounded rubber goes from the mixing mills to refining mills, to be prepared for the calenders.The Wonder Book of Knowledge | Various
As for the other part of refining, which consists in receiving new words and phrases, I shall not insist much on it.The Works Of John Dryden, Volume 4 (of 18) | John Dryden
Brewing in the senior day-room was a mere vulgar brawl, lacking all the refining influences of the study.The Gold Bat | P. G. Wodehouse
Reading which does not result in enlarging, stimulating, and refining one's nature is but a busy idleness.Select Speeches of Daniel Webster | Daniel Webster
British Dictionary definitions for refine
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
- refinable, adjective
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