Definition of refinement in US English:



  • 1The process of removing impurities or unwanted elements from a substance.

    ‘the refinement of uranium’
    • ‘She spends nearly quarter of an hour talking me through the growing, shipping, refinement and chemical processes.’
    • ‘The bulk vaccine will be produced in Baxter's production facility in Europe and then shipped to the United States for refinement and processing.’
    • ‘The processes of refinement, manufacture and consumption each have inputs (materials and energy) and outputs (products, energy and waste).’
    • ‘Modern refinement and processing of foods originating a century ago all but eliminated lignan ingestion in the daily diet.’
    • ‘This process does not require the three-step refinement needed to produce steel from ore.’
    • ‘Grain refinement is influenced by the complex effects of alloy design and processing methods.’
    • ‘I detailed what progress was being made on the tools and machinery, how refinement of superior metals was coming along, and the construction of blast furnaces and prototype pumps for the Bessemer converters.’
    • ‘The answer lies in the fact that these molecules (together with other minerals and nutrients) are removed from our daily diets by refinement processes.’
    purification, refining, clarifying, clarification, cleansing, straining, sifting, filtering, filtration, rarefaction, distillation, concentration, processing, treatment, treating
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    1. 1.1 The improvement or clarification of something by the making of small changes.
      ‘this gross figure needs considerable refinement’
      ‘recent refinements to production techniques’
      • ‘Sharing the results with other faculty led to further refinements to this summative approach.’
      • ‘A further refinement is to establish a standardized numbering system to label all structures in contested areas.’
      • ‘In fact, the original policy can be improved as the organization undergoes an iterative process of interpretation, conflict, and refinement.’
      • ‘Autocrats hear dissent and critique as threat - they don't understand that it's an open society's process of repair and refinement.’
      • ‘Thornton's basic typology remains persuasive, though later writers have added further refinements.’
      • ‘Hagel and Brown point out that construction of the Web services architecture is still in its early stages and will require years of investment and refinement.’
      • ‘So no matter how different the media or formats you use, all of the work reflects a highly calibrated process of editing and refinement.’
      • ‘The second generation Mondeo brought fresh, less rounded looks, along with many technical refinements.’
      • ‘By this time his work had become repetitive and obsessed with technical refinement.’
      • ‘His refinement of this balance theoretic process produces perhaps the most thoroughly developed analysis of cohesion within contemporary network analysis.’
      • ‘Such investigations may lead to further refinements in U.S. building codes.’
      • ‘Why is it that when the evolution of man is picturised, humans are the ultimate in the process of evolutionary refinement?’
      • ‘Formula One became an intriguing sport not because of what it could do for the car industry and the latest refinement of the family saloon.’
      • ‘Two refinements I would like to see are an improved, wider trigger bar, and a somewhat longer stem.’
      • ‘We accept this sort of refinement during a creative process like design, not as part of a manufacturing process.’
      • ‘However, he believes that the ongoing refinement of automated manufacturing processes promises to make them cost-competitive in the near future.’
      • ‘Dr Penkman added: ‘This process is a refinement of a relatively old method first used in the 1960s.’’
      • ‘Researchers have conducted testing and product development on a laboratory scale and are looking for an industrial partner for scale-up and further refinement of the process.’
      • ‘The concept of validity has been contested and is subject to further refinement.’
      • ‘Once this is created, Joint Forces Command and the services can undertake the actual process of concept development, testing, and refinement.’
      improvement, perfection, polishing, honing, fine-tuning, touching up, revision, editing, copy-editing
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    2. 1.2 Cultured elegance in behavior or manner.
      ‘her carefully cultivated veneer of refinement’
      • ‘Mind you, how could a woman of such refinement and grace be expected to slop out or even be put into daily contact with all those other real criminals in Mountjoy?’
      • ‘These are people of refinement, they have manners and tact and I'm sure they're all expecting the same of you.’
      • ‘It amused Kemp that old man Colter had sent his daughter away for refinement and culture, then brought her back to one of the roughest, most uncivilized places in the country.’
      • ‘When I think of Jenny a myriad of words come to mind; beauty, depth, elegance, refinement, talent, charm, sensuality, intellect… and these are just the first that come to mind!’
      • ‘Association with the Tuesday Club offered an opportunity to acquire some of that old world patina of gentility and refinement so desired by the Chesapeake elite.’
      • ‘Grace, refinement, and good breeding are usually apparent with this aspect.’
      • ‘Generally, the more educated a man, the greater his self-control and refinement in dealing with the fair sex.’
      • ‘To be a Nawab is to be heir to a lifestyle marked by refinement in speech and behaviour.’
      • ‘This place was a vacation from the discriminating world, a place where culture and refinement took a step down to allow raw emotion to pass.’
      • ‘From a range of proposals, the project created by the Peugeot Style Centre was chosen, due to its fluid lines that give the car a powerful look, refinement and elegance.’
      • ‘Did I say that Crouch lacks finesse and refinement?’
      • ‘Of course, calling Descartes the first nerd grossly ignores his personal refinement, elegant prose style, sly wit, even his surprising career as a soldier of fortune.’
      • ‘In many western societies, an idealized femininity is often identified with refinement, and refinement in turn with the dominant language.’
      • ‘When exactly did this downward cultural spiral begin, this loss of tact and refinement and understanding that some things should not be said or directly represented?’
      • ‘Mere culture, refinement, respectability, morality, is simply a painted coating of varnish on the outside.’
      • ‘His dignity and refinement and focus and calm manner add up to a state of grace worthy of a man.’
      • ‘Here, it's tempered somewhat by the movie's setting in the Depression-era South, and that many characters are particularly lacking in education or cultural refinement.’
      • ‘We are so covered with layers and layers of refinement, of social polish, of airs and graces and civilization and pretensions that the human in us almost ceases to exist.’
      • ‘‘I think my mother wanted to instill some grace and refinement in me,’ recalls Ansanelli.’
      • ‘Designers at Chrysler exhibited elegance and refinement with the Firepower Grand Tourer Concept.’
      style, elegance, finesse, polish, finish, sophistication, urbanity
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    3. 1.3 Sophisticated and superior good taste.
      ‘the refinement of Hellenistic art’
      • ‘Everything was sculpted to present an elegant, Japanese refinement, using dark woods and red silks and gold embroidery and edging.’
      • ‘His mature works combine features of his Bruges predecessors, van Eyck's fascination with the detail of the visible world and Memling's refinement, with some compositional elements from Hugo van der Goes.’
      • ‘Although undeniably proud of their newly won political independence, the former colonials still aspired to many of the European cultural and material standards of refinement and civility.’
      • ‘The expense of imported goods would surely have signaled a market for any local entrepreneur who was prepared to seize the opportunity and produce objects of similar refinement and style.’
      • ‘Proenza Schouler produced tailored garments that showed refinement and elegance in their graceful design.’
      • ‘This is what people come to Granada to see and no amount of description can do justice to its refinement and subtlety, precisely because the essence of Moorish art is its simplicity.’
      • ‘As you would expect from a man of Roye's taste and refinement, the pictures are really rather beautiful.’
      • ‘Taken overall, his nine features display a degree of visual refinement and intellectual ambition unusual in a director attached to the mainstream British film industry.’
      • ‘In Urban India today, it has become a symbol of culture and refinement to talk about and to support environmental causes.’
      • ‘However, American cities of the nineteenth century were seen as bastions of culture and refinement.’
      • ‘Uncluttered and spacious, the overall design suggests modern refinement and glamour rather than stuffy tradition.’
      • ‘Materials such as raw concrete, glass and wood are used with characteristic economy and refinement.’
      • ‘My own feeling is that Englishmen of taste and refinement prefer the longer word, but, sadly, American influence has meant that it is now falling out of use.’
      • ‘It's a bit tacky, especially in comparison to the sophistication and refinement of the historic section.’
      • ‘Dressed that night in an elegant ruby satin, Randolph Duke dress and a dripping diamond necklace, Harden exuded an old-time glamour and refinement that's rarely seen nowadays.’
      • ‘It has created a sense of subtle refinement that lots of London bars lack.’
      • ‘He seeks in this way to place himself in cultivated society and to impress his guests, his family - perhaps even himself - with his own refinement and sophistication.’
      • ‘For those cowed by all this ardent muscularity, turn to her to discover, at the last, a private Rubens, that man of exceptional refinement and sensitivity.’
      • ‘You're buying into a lifestyle that shrieks taste and refinement.’
      • ‘The flowery schemes shouldn't work, but they do (the line between bad taste and refinement can be a fine one).’
      judgement, taste, discrimination, cultivation, sophistication, enlightenment, sensitivity, subtlety
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