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See more synonyms for unrefined on Thesaurus.com
  1. not refined; not purified, as substances: unrefined metal.
  2. coarse or crude; lacking in refinement of taste, feeling, manners, language, etc.
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Origin of unrefined

First recorded in 1585–95; un-1 + refined


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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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Examples from the Web for unrefined

Historical Examples

  • Altogether there was something about him 18 that struck Maya as unrefined.

    The Adventures of Maya the Bee

    Waldemar Bonsels

  • Those of his kindred with whom you will associate are unrefined and mean.

    My Novel, Complete

    Edward Bulwer-Lytton

  • To be sure, Mrs. Goodenough was a commonplace, unrefined woman.

    Wives and Daughters

    Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell

  • Plain and unrefined as Mrs. Strong was, she had a good, generous heart.

    Kathie's Soldiers

    Amanda Minnie Douglas

  • Their taste is unrefined, but they are inclined to respect grace and dignity.

British Dictionary definitions for unrefined


  1. (of substances such as petroleum, ores, and sugar) not processed into a pure or usable form
  2. coarse in manners or language
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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 unrefined


1590s, "not refined in manners," from un- (1) "not" + past participle of refine (v.). Meaning "not free from gross matter" is recorded from 1610s.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper