1. The act of refining.
2. The result of refining; an improvement or elaboration.
3. The state or quality of being refined; cultivation, as in manners or taste.
4. A keen or precise phrasing; a subtle distinction.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.