AskDefine | Define refinement

Dictionary Definition



1 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 [syn: polish, culture, cultivation, finish]
2 the result of improving something; "he described a refinement of this technique" [syn: elaboration]
3 the process of removing impurities (as from oil or metals or sugar etc.) [syn: refining, purification]
4 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" [syn: nuance, nicety, shade, subtlety]
5 the quality of excellence in thought and manners and taste; "a man of intellectual refinement"; "he is remembered for his generosity and civilization" [syn: civilization, civilisation]

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. The act, or the result of refining; the removal of impurities, or a purified material
  2. High-class style; cultivation.
  3. A fine or subtle distinction.


The act, or the result of refining; the removal of impurities, or a purified material
High-class style; cultivation
A fine or subtle distinction

Extensive Definition

Refinement may refer to:
  • Equilibrium refinement, the identification of actualized equilibria in game theory
  • Program refinement, the verifiable transformation of a formal specification into source code which can be compiled into an executable program
  • Refinement (topology), the refinement of an open cover in mathematical topology
  • Selectivity or cultural refinement, the ability to notice/distinguish small differences

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Atticism, ablation, abrasion, absoluteness, abstraction, acculturation, accuracy, acquired taste, appreciation, appreciation of differences, appreciation of excellence, appreciativeness, appropriateness, artistic judgment, attention to detail, attention to fact, beautification, bettering, betterment, bolting, breeding, care for truth, chasteness, chastity, choiceness, circumstantiality, civility, civilization, civilized taste, civilizedness, clarification, clarifying, clarity, classicalism, classicism, cleaning, cleansing, clearness, colature, comeliness, concentrate, concentration, connoisseurship, conscientiousness, correctness, courtesy, courtliness, critical niceness, criticality, criticalness, cultivated taste, cultivation, culture, daintiness, decoction, deduction, delicacy, delicate distinction, delicateness, destructive distillation, detail, development, differentia, differential, dignity, diplomacy, directness, discernment, discriminating taste, discriminatingness, discrimination, discriminativeness, disentanglement, disinvolvement, distillate, distillation, distinction, down, downiness, ease, education, edulcoration, elaboration, elegance, elegancy, elixir, elution, elutriation, embellishment, enculturation, enhancement, enlightenment, erosion, essence, essentialization, evolution, exactingness, exactitude, exactness, excellence, exquisiteness, extract, extraction, faithfulness, fastidiousness, faultlessness, feel, feeling, felicitousness, felicity, fidelity, filminess, filtering, filtration, fine palate, fine point, fine-grainedness, fineness, finesse, finicality, finicalness, finickiness, finickingness, finish, fittingness, flawlessness, flow, flowing periods, fluency, fluff, fluffiness, fussiness, fuzz, fuzziness, genteelness, gentility, gentlemanlikeness, gentlemanliness, gentleness, good breeding, good taste, gossameriness, grace, gracefulness, gracility, graciosity, graciousness, hairline, improvement, infusion, judiciousness, ladylikeness, leaching, limpidity, literalism, literality, literalness, lixiviation, lucidity, making distinctions, margin, mathematical precision, maturation, meticulousness, minuteness, minutia, narrow margin, narrowing, naturalness, neatness, nice distinction, niceness, niceness of distinction, nicety, nuance, palate, particle of difference, particularity, particularness, peach fuzz, pellucidity, percolation, perfection, perspicuity, plainness, point of difference, polish, politeness, politesse, preciseness, precisianism, precision, propriety, pubescence, punctiliousness, punctuality, purification, purifying, purity, quality, quintessence, refined discrimination, refined palate, refining, removal, restraint, riddling, right, rightness, rigidity, rigidness, rigor, rigorousness, ripening, satin, satininess, screening, scrupulosity, scrupulousness, seasoning, seemliness, selectiveness, sense, sensibility, sensitivity, separation, severity, shade of difference, sieving, sifting, silk, silkiness, simplicity, simplification, smoothness, socialization, softness, sophistication, spirit, spiritualization, straightforwardness, straining, streamlining, strictness, stripping, stripping down, suaveness, suavity, subduction, sublation, sublimation, subtle distinction, subtlety, subtraction, tact, tactfulness, taste, tastefulness, terseness, textualism, the letter, unaffectedness, uncluttering, unscrambling, unsnarling, urbanity, velvet, velvetiness, wide margin, winnowing
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