Definition of refine in English:


Syllabification: re·fine
Pronunciation: /riˈfīn


[with object]
  • 1Remove impurities or unwanted elements from (a substance), typically as part of an industrial process: sugar was refined by boiling it in huge iron vats
    More example sentences
    • The process gradually refines the steel - compacting the grain while adjusting the carbon content.
    • Mineral extraction is important: crude oil is refined and exported, there are large coal, tin, and iron ore deposits, and China leads the world in tungsten ore production.
    • When oil is refined this reaction is used to remove unwanted alkenes.
    purify, process, treat
  • 1.1Improve (something) by making small changes, in particular make (an idea, theory, or method) more subtle and accurate: ease of access to computers has refined analysis and presentation of data
    More example sentences
    • The premise is correct: there has been progress; theories are refined, generalised, clarified, simplified, and perfected.
    • We then used the results of our analysis to refine the original theory and to add to the literature in new ways.
    • The course materials and the presentation methods were progressively refined for each course.
    improve, perfect, polish (up), hone, fine-tune



More example sentences
  • The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission today released a report supporting the petrol discounting arrangements between oil refiners and supermarkets.
  • The shortfall has limited refiners ' ability to build up US heating oil stocks, which at 50 million barrels are 10 per cent below last year, weekly government data showed last week.
  • The Prime Minister and his Deputy met representatives of Australia's four major oil refiners in Sydney today to discuss how they'll reach the government's biofuels target.


late 16th century: from re- 'again' + the verb fine1, influenced by French raffiner.

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