refine (v.)

"to bring or reduce to a pure state or a condition of purity as full as possible," 1580s of metals; c. 1590 of manners ("purify from what is coarse, low, vulgar, inelegant, etc.;" from re-, here perhaps an intensive prefix, + obsolete fine (v.) "make fine," from fine (adj.) "delicate." Compare French raffiner, Italian raffinare, Spanish refinar. General and figurative sense is recorded from 1590s; of sugar from 1610s. Intransitive sense of "become pure" is from c. 1600. Related: Refined; refining.

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Definitions of refine from WordNet

refine (v.)
improve or perfect by pruning or polishing;
refine one's style of writing
Synonyms: polish / fine-tune / down
refine (v.)
make more complex, intricate, or richer;
refine a design or pattern
Synonyms: complicate / rarify / elaborate
refine (v.)
treat or prepare so as to put in a usable condition;
refine pig iron
refine paper stock
refine oil
refine (v.)
reduce to a fine, unmixed, or pure state; separate from extraneous matter or cleanse from impurities;
refine sugar
Synonyms: rectify
refine (v.)
attenuate or reduce in vigor, strength, or intensity by polishing or purifying;
many valuable nutrients are refined out of the foods in our modern diet
refine (v.)
make more precise or increase the discriminatory powers of;
refine a method of analysis
refine the constant in the equation