- 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.
Origin of refine
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for refining
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
August 11, 2014
But the New Year is also about planning ahead, refining a longer-term vision of balance and sustainability.What to Drink in 2014: 13 Chefs and Critics Picks
January 11, 2014
Other technologies are refining the concept of a “fit” between school and student.How to Reinvent College
May 13, 2013
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?
May 22, 2012
“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
January 10, 2012
Refining the courtship, raillery, and conversation of plays!
Paris did not fail to exercise its refining influence on Erasmus.Erasmus and the Age of Reformation
It was not faith, however, that had come to him, only a refining and quickening of his imagination.The Mermaid
In refining the loss is enormous, often as much as forty per cent.
The loss of gold in mining and refining is comparatively small.
- 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
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 refining
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
- 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.