Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To direct to a source for help or information.
  • intransitive verb To submit (a matter in dispute) to an authority for arbitration, decision, or examination.
  • intransitive verb To direct the attention of.
  • intransitive verb To assign or attribute to; regard as originated by.
  • intransitive verb To assign to or regard as belonging within a particular kind or class: synonym: attribute.
  • intransitive verb To relate or pertain; concern.
  • intransitive verb To serve as a descriptor or have as a denotation.
  • intransitive verb To speak or write about something briefly or incidentally; make reference.
  • intransitive verb To turn one's attention, as in seeking information.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To bear or carry back; bring back.
  • To trace back; assign to as origin, source, etc.; impute; assign; attribute.
  • To hand over or intrust for consideration and decision; deliver over, as to another person or tribunal for treatment, information, decision, and the like: as, to refer a matter to a third person; parties to a suit refer their cause to arbitration; the court refers a cause to individuals for examination and report, or for trial and decision.
  • Reflexively, to betake one's self to; appeal.
  • To reduce or bring in relation, as to some standard.
  • To assign, as to a class, rank, historical position, or the like.
  • To defer; put off; postpone.
  • To direct for information; instruct to apply for any purpose.
  • Synonyms Ascribe, Charge, etc. See attribute.
  • To have relation; relate.
  • To have recourse; apply; appeal: as, to refer to an encyclopedia; to refer to one's notes.
  • To allude; make allusion.
  • To direct the attention; serve as a mark or sign of reference.
  • To give a reference: as, to refer to a former employer for a recommendation.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb obsolete To carry or send back.
  • transitive verb Hence: To send or direct away; to send or direct elsewhere, as for treatment, aid, information, decision, etc.; to make over, or pass over, to another
  • transitive verb To place in or under by a mental or rational process; to assign to, as a class, a cause, source, a motive, reason, or ground of explanation.
  • transitive verb [Obs.] to have recourse; to betake one's self; to make application; to appeal.
  • intransitive verb To have recourse; to apply; to appeal; to betake one's self.
  • intransitive verb To have relation or reference; to relate; to point.
  • intransitive verb To carry the mind or thought; to direct attention.
  • intransitive verb To direct inquiry for information or a guarantee of any kind, as in respect to one's integrity, capacity, pecuniary ability, and the like.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb transitive To direct the attention of.
  • verb transitive To submit to (another person or group) for consideration.
  • verb intransitive To allude to, make a reference or allusion to.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • verb have as a meaning
  • verb seek information from
  • verb think of, regard, or classify under a subsuming principle or with a general group or in relation to another
  • verb be relevant to
  • verb send or direct for treatment, information, or a decision
  • verb make reference to
  • verb use a name to designate

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English referren, from Old French referer, from Latin referre : re-, re- + ferre, to carry; see bher- in Indo-European roots.]

Examples

  • Otherwise we are left either with the error-theoretic conclusion that there are no moral properties or the non-cognitivist conclusion that moral vocabulary does not even purport to refer (in the sense of ˜refer™ in play when one does serious metaphysics, anyway; again, the non-cognitivist will allow that we can ˜speak with the vulgar™ here).

    Moral Non-Naturalism

  • The rules of the title refer to a collection of maxims assembled by George Washington that Tinker Grey regards as his bible.

    A Spirited Climb Into Café Society

  • Some definitions of the term refer to the climate system passing a threshold between different states for example, with ice to ice-free.

    Rabett Run

  • Another essential book everyone interested in U.S. politics should read is Gangs of America by Ted Nace, where the gangs in the title refer to corporations throughout U.S. history.

    Cleaning the Two Party Garbage Out of the DrainTo Make Room for the Cream of the Heart

  • The 'Foxbats' in the title refer to the then-experimental MiGÂ-25 reconnaissance bombers that, according to the authors' reporting, flew over the secret Israeli compound in Dimona in May 1967, primarily to map out plans for the destruction of Israel's emerging nuclear facility there, which the Soviets planned to demolish under the fog of a war between the Jewish state and its Arab neighbors, a war to be launched at Soviet instigation.

    Yale Press Log:

  • The 'Foxbats' in the title refer to the then-experimental MiGÂ-25 reconnaissance bombers that, according to the authors' reporting, flew over the secret Israeli compound in Dimona in May 1967, primarily to map out plans for the destruction of Israel's emerging nuclear facility there, which the Soviets planned to demolish under the fog of a war between the Jewish state and its Arab neighbors, a war to be launched at Soviet instigation.

    Russia's Defense Ministry confirms Soviet sorties over Dimona in 1967

  • The cabinets referred to in the title refer to collections of objects that were around in NYC in the mid 1800's.

    The Cabinet of Curiosities (2002)

  • The birds of the title refer to three story traditions-- the classical myths, Germanic folk tale and legend, and the Christian sacred story.

    Tales of Grimm Beauty

  • The birds of the title refer to three story traditions-- the classical myths, Germanic folk tale and legend, and the Christian sacred story.

    Archive 2007-07-01

  • Or does the title refer to someone else altogether?

    The Lions of Al-Rassan

Comments

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  • People often refer to 'education' as a prerequisite to enlightenment

    April 11, 2014