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re·fine / riˈfīn/ • v. [tr.] remove impurities or unwanted elements from (a substance), typically as part of an industrial process: sugar was refined by boiling it in huge iron vats. ∎  improve (something) by making small changes, in particular make (an idea, theory, or method) more subtle and accurate: ease of access to computers has refined analysis and presentation of data.DERIVATIVES: re·fin·er n.