Definitions for backreference
An item in a regular expression equivalent to the text matched by an earlier pattern in the expression.
The New Hacker's Dictionary
1. In a regular expression or pattern match, the text which was matched within grouping parentheses 2. The part of the pattern which refers back to the matched text. 3. By extension, anything which refers back to something which has been seen or discussed before. “When you said ‘she’ just now, who were you backreferencing?”
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