Here's some original information seperated from another thread about 中庭 and 庭院 Which I want to say for "graceful" is 优雅，you can consider it an upper level of 文雅. 文雅 is basically means something on the opposite side of 粗鲁，粗俗（rude or vulgar?). When i'm angry or complaining about something using some 4-letter words, then my girlfriend may remind me,"Don't be rude,talk nice(不要那么粗鲁，文雅一些)". And more,when we meet someone, "Hey ,you!" (你！)--This is rude. "What's up?""How you doing"(最近怎么样)--This is normal. "Nice to meet you","It's my honor"(很高兴认识你，这是我的荣幸)--this is 文雅. "My lord","My lady"(...)--This is 优雅. Both 文雅 and 优雅 can be used as a description of physical behavior, literary works, even animals or plants, almost no restricting. "优雅的芭蕾舞（ballet）" "优雅的文学作品（literary works）" "他的举止很文雅（He behaves gracefully）" "优雅的程序代码"（means well designed and programmed codes.） Here's a picture every girl will be fond of. http://images.china.cn/attachement/jpg/site1000/20111020/0019b91ec9441009c11b36.jpg If my gf sees this,she must say "好优雅的喵喵哦！"（What a 'graceful' kitty ）.BTW,喵喵 is a cute way to call a 猫，like kitty to cat. Now i'll back to the adjs you've mentioned. My understanding of these "refined","elegant","poetic","academic". "refined"--This is the most familiar one to me among all.We use it now and then in our daily work.Sometimes we have products works well but not that efficient as we expected or little bit mess in design.So we will refine it to a better one. "elegant"--Maybe some pleasing and behaved person.Or a nice restaurant, quiet, many ladys and gentlemen. "poetic"--I think this is "有诗意的".Here's a picture ag and i think it's a peotic one.It makes feel like reading a poem. http://www.6188.com/upload_6188s/flashAll/s800/20130225/13617537665UGAEh.jpg "academic"--The concept of regular, with long history, in a word, "Hogwarts". Something like "有学术气息的". http://img.m1905.com/UploadFile/pics/2009/09/22/103018515.jpg So in my opinion now, "elegant" is the most accurate one to explain what i want to say for "优雅"。 And i think poetic and academic are other perspectives of elegant, they are "优雅" too.