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

  • noun The act of referring to something.
  • noun Significance for a specified matter; relation or relationship.
  • noun Meaning or denotation.
  • noun A mention of an occurrence or situation.
  • noun A note in a publication referring the reader to another passage or source.
  • noun The passage or source so referred to.
  • noun A work frequently used as a source.
  • noun A mark or footnote used to direct a reader elsewhere for additional information.
  • noun Submission of a case to a referee.
  • noun Legal proceedings conducted before or by a referee.
  • noun A person who is in a position to recommend another or to vouch for his or her fitness, as for a job.
  • noun A statement about a person's qualifications, character, and dependability.
  • transitive verb To supply references to.
  • transitive verb To mention in a reference; refer to.
  • idiom (in/with) In connection with; in relation to.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The act of referring.
  • noun In law:
  • noun Relation; respect; regard: generally in the phrase in or with reference to.
  • noun That which is or may be referred to.
  • noun A direction in a book or writing to refer to some other place or passage: often a mere citation, as of book, chapter, page, or text.
  • noun Assignment; apportionment.
  • noun An appeal.
  • 1. To refer a thing to (something).
  • To assign proper references to, as to a phrase; look up and find by reference.
  • To schedule (property) to be taken for a proposed railway extension.
  • To make out a return of the number of people to be displaced by proposed railway extension.

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

  • noun The act of referring, or the state of being referred.
  • noun That which refers to something; a specific direction of the attention.
  • noun Relation; regard; respect.
  • noun One who, or that which, is referred to.
  • noun One of whom inquires can be made as to the integrity, capacity, and the like, of another.
  • noun A work, or a passage in a work, to which one is referred.
  • noun The act of submitting a matter in dispute to the judgment of one or more persons for decision.
  • noun (Equity) The process of sending any matter, for inquiry in a cause, to a master or other officer, in order that he may ascertain facts and report to the court.
  • noun rare Appeal.
  • noun a Bible in which brief explanations, and references to parallel passages, are printed in the margin of the text.

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

  • noun A relationship or relation (to something).
  • noun A measurement one can compare to.
  • noun Information about a person, provided by someone (a referee) with whom they are well acquainted
  • noun A reference work.
  • noun semantics A relation between objects in which one object designates, or acts as a means by which to connect to or link to, another object.
  • noun academic writing A short written identification of a previously published work which is used as a source for a text.
  • noun academic writing A previously published written work thus indicated; a source.
  • noun programming An object containing information which refers to data stored elsewhere, as opposed to containing the data itself.
  • noun programming A special sequence used to represent complex characters in a web page such as ™ or €.


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From refer +‎ -ence.



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  • "'Swamp thing.' The 80's called, they want their reference back." -erin

    May 1, 2007

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    July 31, 2009