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  1. One to whose decision a cause is referred. [Not in use.] – Bacon.
  2. An officer who delivered the royal answer to petitions. – Harmar.


In early history, an officer charged with the duty of procuring and dispatching diplomas and charters.


Reference for decision. [Not used.] – Laud.

RE-FER-MENT', v.t. [re and ferment.]

To ferment again. Blackmore.


Dismissed or directed to another; assigned, as to a class, order or cause; assigned by a court to persons appointed to decide.


That may be referred; referable. – Brown.


Dismissing or directing to another for information; alluding; assigning, as to a class, order, cause, &c.; or assigning to private persons for decision.

RE-FIND, v.t. [re and find.]

To find again; to experience anew. – Sandys.

RE-FINE, v.i.

  1. To improve in accuracy, delicacy, or in any thing that constitutes excellence. Chaucer refined on Boccace and mended his stories. – Dryden. Let a lord but own the happy lines, / How the wit brightens, how the sense refines! – Pope.
  2. To become pure; to be cleared of feculent matter. So the pure limpid stream, when fool with stains, / Works itself clear, and as it runs, refines. – Addison.
  3. To affect nicety. Men sometimes refine in speculation beyond the limits of practical truth. He makes another paragraph about our refining in controversy. – Atterbury.

RE-FINE, v.t. [Fr. raffiner; It. raffinare; Sp. and Port. refinar; re and fine.]

  1. To purify; in a general sense; applied to liquors, to depurate; to defecate; to clarify; to separate, as liquor, from all extraneous matter. In this sense, the verb is used with propriety, but it is customary to use fine.
  2. Applied to metals, to separate the metallic substance from all other matter, whether another metal or alloy, or any earthy substance; in short, to detach the pure metal from all extraneous matter. I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined. – Zech. xiii.
  3. To purify, as manners, from what is gross, clownish or vulgar; to polish; to make elegant. We expect to see refined manners in courts.
  4. To purify, as language, by removing vulgar words and barbarisms.
  5. To purify, as taste; to give a nice and delicate perception of beauty and propriety in literature and the arts.
  6. To purify, as the mind or moral principles; to give or implant in the mind a nice perception of truth, justice and propriety in commerce and social intercourse. This nice perception of what is right constitutes rectitude of principle, or moral refinement of mind; and a correspondent practice of social duties, constitutes rectitude of conduct or purity of morals. Hence we speak of a refined mind, refined morals, refined principles. To refine the heart or soul, to cleanse it from all carnal or evil affections and desires, and implant in it holy or heavenly affections.

RE-FIN-ED, pp.

Purified; separated from extraneous matter; assayed, as metals; clarified, as liquors; polished; separated from what is coarse, rude or improper.

RE-FIN-ED-LY, adv.

With affected nicety or elegance. – Dryden.


State of being refined; purity; refinement; also, affected purity. – Barrow.


  1. The act of purifying by separating from a substance all extraneous matter; a clearing from dross, dregs or recrement; as, the refinement of metals or liquors.
  2. The state of being pure. The more bodies are of a kin to spirit in subtilty and refinement, the more diffusive are they. – Norris.
  3. Polish of language; elegance; purity. From the civil war to this time, I doubt whether the corruptions in our language have not equaled its refinements. – Swift.
  4. Polish of manners; elegance; nice observance of the civilities of social intercourse and of graceful decorum. Refinement of manners is often found in persons of corrupt morals.
  5. Purity of taste; nice perception of beauty and propriety in literature and the arts.
  6. Purity of mind and morals; nice perception and observance of rectitude in moral principles and practice.
  7. Purity of heart; the state of the heart purified from sensual and evil affections. This refinement is the effect of Christian principles.
  8. Artificial practice; subtilty; as, the refinements of cunning. – Rogers.
  9. Affectation of nicety, or of elegant improvement; as, the refinements of reasoning or philosophy.


  1. One that refines metals or other things. – Bacon.
  2. An improver in purity and elegance; as, a refiner of language. – Swift.
  3. An inventor of superfluous subtilties; one who is over nice in discrimination, in argument, reasoning, philosophy, &c.


The place and apparatus for refining metals.


The use of too much refinement or subtlety; great nicety of speculation.

RE-FIN-ING, ppr.

Purifying; separating from alloy or any extraneous matter; polishing; improving in accuracy, delicacy or purity.

RE-FIT, v.t. [re and fit.]

To fit or prepare again; to repair; to restore after damage or decay; as, to refit ships of war.


A second fitting out.


Prepared again; repaired.


Repairing after damage or decay.

RE-FLECT', v.i.

  1. To throw back light; to return rays or beams; as, a reflecting mirror or gem. – Shak.
  2. To bend back. – Bentley.
  3. To throw or turn back the thoughts upon the past operations of the mind or upon past events. We reflect with pleasure on a generous or heroic action; we reflect with pain on our follies and vices; we reflect on our former thoughts, meditations and opinions.
  4. To consider attentively; to revolve in the mind; to contemplate; as, I will reflect on this subject. And as I much reflected, much I mourn'd. – Prior. In every action, reflect upon the end. – Taylor. [To reflect on things future, is not strictly possible, yet the word is often used as synonymous with meditate and contemplate.]
  5. To bring reproach. Errors of wives reflect on husband still. – Dryden. To reflect on, to cast censure or reproach. I do not reflect in the least on the memory of his late majesty. – Swift.

RE-FLECT', v.t. [L. reflecto; re and flecto, to bend; Fr. reflechir; It. riflettere.]

To throw back; to return. In the rainbow, the rays of light are reflected as well as refracted. Bodies close together reflect their own color. – Dryden.


Thrown back; returned; as, reflected light.