• WordNet 3.6
    • n refinement the quality of excellence in thought and manners and taste "a man of intellectual refinement","he is remembered for his generosity and civilization"
    • n refinement a subtle difference in meaning or opinion or attitude "without understanding the finer nuances you can't enjoy the humor","don't argue about shades of meaning"
    • n refinement the result of improving something "he described a refinement of this technique"
    • n refinement the process of removing impurities (as from oil or metals or sugar etc.)
    • n refinement a highly developed state of perfection; having a flawless or impeccable quality "they performed with great polish","I admired the exquisite refinement of his prose","almost an inspiration which gives to all work that finish which is almost art"--Joseph Conrad"
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: American colonists discovered that superior candles could be made from the fruit of a squat bush growing in the sand dunes along the New England seashore. The small, grayish bayberry was picked, crushed, and boiled. It had to be skimmed several times before the pale, nearly transparent, green fat was sufficiently refined. Bayberry candles were highly prized, because so much labor and so many berries were needed to make just one candle.
    • Refinement That which is refined, elaborated, or polished to excess; an affected subtilty; as, refinements of logic. "The refinements of irregular cunning."
    • Refinement The act of refining, or the state of being refined; as, the refinement or metals; refinement of ideas. "The more bodies are of kin to spirit in subtilty and refinement , the more diffusive are they.""From the civil war to this time, I doubt whether the corruptions in our language have not equaled its refinements ."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n refinement The act of refining or purifying; the act of separating from a substance all extraneous matter; purification: clarification: as, the refinement of metals or liquors.
    • n refinement The state of being pure or purified.
    • n refinement The state of being free from what is coarse, rude, inelegant, debasing, or the like; purity of taste, mind, etc.; elegance of manners or language; culture.
    • n refinement That which proceeds from refining or a desire to refine; a result of elaboration, polish, or nicety: often used to denote an over-nicety, or affected subtlety: as, the refinements of logic or philosophy; the refinements of cunning.
    • n refinement Excessive or extravagant compliment; a form of expression intended to impose on the hearer.
    • n refinement Synonyms Cultivation, etc. See culture.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • ns Refinement act of refining or state of being refined: purification: separation from what is impure, &c.: cultivation: elegance: polish: purity: an excessive nicety
    • ***


  • Mark Twain
    “She was not quite what you would call refined. She was not quite what you would call unrefined. She was the kind of person that keeps a parrot.”
  • Arthur James Balfour
    Arthur James Balfour
    “He has only half learned the art of reading who has not added to it the more refined art of skipping and skimming.”
  • Leigh Hunt
    “It is books that teach us to refine our pleasures when young, and to recall them with satisfaction when we are old.”
  • Allan K. Chalmers
    Allan K. Chalmers
    “Crises refine life. In them you discover what you are.”
  • Roy L. Smith
    Roy L. Smith
    “Discipline is the refining fire by which talent becomes ability.”
  • Frederick W. Robertson
    Frederick W. Robertson
    “Men... are bettered and improved by trial, and refined out of broken hopes and blighted expectations.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
Cf. F. raffinement,
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
L. re-, denoting change of state, and fine; cf. Fr. raffiner.


In literature:

It is now made narrower, with much advantage in the refinement of the tone.
"Scientific American Supplement No. 819" by Various
Refined art is not wanting in power if the public is refined also.
"The Life of Reason" by George Santayana
There are other pleasures more refined and secret, felt only by the initiated.
"A Dialogue Concerning Oratory, Or The Causes Of Corrupt Eloquence" by Cornelius Tacitus
In sugar refining it is frequently desirable to determine the viscosity of sirups, molasses, etc.
"Scientific American Supplement, No. 832, December 12, 1891" by Various
O, may it become more and more refined until nothing shall remain but perfect purity.
"The Life and Work of Susan B. Anthony (Volume 1 of 2)" by Ida Husted Harper
He withdrew into a separate apartment, and dined with a new refinement.
"A History of English Prose Fiction" by Bayard Tuckerman
Culture was the humanizing and refining influence of the Renaissance.
"Renaissance in Italy, Volume 1 (of 7)" by John Addington Symonds
Perhaps it is over-refined.
"The Little Red Chimney" by Mary Finley Leonard
But the impression it made as I entered and surveyed it was of refinement, beauty, repose, and purity.
"Letters to a Daughter and A Little Sermon to School Girls" by Helen Ekin Starrett
If the last, what a refinement of misfortune to have been so thrown with her!
"Bressant" by Julian Hawthorne

In poetry:

Great God, subdue this vicious thirst,
This love to vanity and dust;
Cure the vile fever of the mind,
And feed our souls with joys refined.
"Hymn 146" by Isaac Watts
Jesus, thy witness speaks within;
The mercy which thy words reveal
Refines the heart from sense and sin,
And stamps its own celestial seal.
"Hymn 4 part 2" by Isaac Watts
Oh! blue-eyed Ella's heart is kind
With warm desires by Heav'n refin'd;
Amid this world of crime and ill,
She walks serene and sinless still.
"Blue-Eyed Ella" by James Avis Bartley
With bloom thy cheeks are now refin'd,
Now to thine eye the tear is given;
At once too cruel and too kind,—
A little hell, a little heaven.
"Time And The Lover" by Sir John Carr
Here happiness and plenty reign,
And e'en refinement, too, is seen.
For music sends its cheering strain,
Where flowers grow within the green.
"Kelvin" by Thomas Frederick Young
Oh, blest content, and lowly life
That blunts Ambition's biting sting
Unknown to thee the bitter strife,
Which proud refinements often bring.
"Kelvin" by Thomas Frederick Young

In news:

Bill Greehey discusses the moves that helped put Valero at the head of the refining industry.
Samantha Murray, transformation director, US refining procurement, BP.
PCTC Fights for Refined Tar-Based Sealer.
CVR Refining LP plans to list its common units on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol "CVRR".
All of the common units to be sold in the IPO will be sold by CVR Refining.
Culture should be most refined process in your organization, they argue.
Jeffrey Brown takes a look at "Courtly Art of the Ancient Maya," an exhibit at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, that reveals a world both refined and raucous.
SIOUX FALLS — A Texas company looking to build a $10 billion oil refinery in southeastern South Dakota has revised its greenhouse gas emission estimates after omitting part of its refining process from an earlier air permit submission.
"As ludicrous as that sounds, it's fact," says Charles Drevna, who represents refiners.
In a Decade the Polish Refiner Morphed From 'Too Small to Survive' to a $10-Billion-a-Year Business.
Finding ways to limit NOx from fired heaters, especially under stringent environmental regulations, has become a major concern for the petroleum refining industry.
The Downtown venue provides a refined gastropub approach to culimary staples.
Refining and petrochemical complex just east of Houston.
Can earthquakes be prevented with … refined flour.
Rough and tumble refinement .

In science:

The SO Framework Implies Instruction Should Try To Prevent Matter-Based Reasoning About Scientific Concepts Within the SO view, the naïve physics ontological view cannot be refined to the expert view without a restructuring.
The Case for Dynamic Models of Learners' Ontologies in Physics
This view of learning physics suggests that it is not possible to refine or develop intuitive knowledge to the point that it becomes the veridical physics knowledge; entities on separate ontological trees cannot be merged, because they cannot inherit each other’s attributes.
The Case for Dynamic Models of Learners' Ontologies in Physics
M1 and for the more refined one M2 are shown on this figure.
Finite element analysis of the indentation test on rocks with microstructure
From these datasets, detailed models of hadron formation can be tested and refined.
Studies of Parton Propagation and Hadron Formation in the Space-Time Domain
As a refinement an etalon can be incorporated in the pump laser cavity to limit its frequency range by ensuring single longitudinal mode (SLM) operation.
Benchmark tests of slow light in saturable absorbers