1. To reduce to a fine, unmixed, or pure state; to free from impurities; to free from dross or alloy; to separate from extraneous matter; to purify; to defecate; as, to refine gold or silver; to refine iron; to refine wine or sugar. I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined. (Zech. Xiii. 9)
2. To purify from what is gross, coarse, vulgar, inelegant, low, and the like; to make elegant or exellent; to polish; as, to refine the manners, the language, the style, the taste, the intellect, or the moral feelings. Love refines The thoughts, and heart enlarges. (milton)
Synonym: To purify, clarify, polish, ennoble.
Origin: Pref. Re- – fine to make fine: cf. F. Raffiner.
1. To become pure; to be cleared of feculent matter. So the pure, limpid stream, when foul with stains, works itself clear, and, as it runs, refines. (Addison)
2. To improve in accuracy, delicacy, or excellence. Chaucer refined on Boccace, and mended his stories. (Dryden) But let a lord once own the happy lines, How the wit brightens! How the style refines! (pope)
3. To affect nicety or subtilty in thought or language. He makes another paragraph about our refining in controversy.