Definitions for referrɪˈfɜr

This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word refer

Random House Webster's College Dictionary

re•ferrɪˈfɜr(v.)-ferred, -fer•ring.

  1. (v.t.)to direct to a person, place, etc., for information or anything required.

  2. to direct the attention of:

    The asterisk refers the reader to a footnote.

  3. to submit for decision, information, etc.:

    to refer a dispute to arbitration.

  4. to assign to a class, period, etc.; classify.

  5. to have relation; relate; apply.

  6. (v.i.)to direct attention.

  7. to have recourse, as for aid or information.

  8. to make reference or allusion.

Origin of refer:

1325–75; ME referren < L referre to bring back =re-re - +ferre to bring, bear1


Princeton's WordNet

  1. mention, advert, bring up, cite, name, refer(verb)

    make reference to

    "His name was mentioned in connection with the invention"

  2. refer, pertain, relate, concern, come to, bear on, touch, touch on, have-to doe with(verb)

    be relevant to

    "There were lots of questions referring to her talk"; "My remark pertained to your earlier comments"

  3. refer(verb)

    think of, regard, or classify under a subsuming principle or with a general group or in relation to another

    "This plant can be referred to a known species"

  4. refer(verb)

    send or direct for treatment, information, or a decision

    "refer a patient to a specialist"; "refer a bill to a committee"

  5. consult, refer, look up(verb)

    seek information from

    "You should consult the dictionary"; "refer to your notes"

  6. denote, refer(verb)

    have as a meaning

    "`multi-' denotes `many' "

  7. refer(verb)

    use a name to designate

    "Christians refer to the mother of Jesus as the Virgin Mary"

Kernerman English Learner's Dictionary

  1. refer(verb)ɪˈfɜr

    to indicate or mention

    I was referring to his comment about the political situation.; She referred to me as "my little helper."

  2. referɪˈfɜr

    to mean or describe

    "El Ni; ño" refers to a warming of surface temperatures in the Pacific Ocean.

  3. referɪˈfɜr

    to use to gain information

    You may refer to your dictionary during the test.

  4. referɪˈfɜr

    to send to sb for help, advice, etc.

    The doctor referred me to a cancer specialist.


  1. refer(Verb)

    To direct the attention of.

    The shop assistant referred me to the help desk on ground floor.

  2. refer(Verb)

    To submit to an authority figure for consideration.

    He referred the matter to the principal.

  3. refer(Verb)

    To allude to, make a reference or allusion to.

  4. Origin: * From referren, from referer, from referre, from re- + ferre; see bher- in Indo-European Roots.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Refer(verb)

    to carry or send back

  2. Refer(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; as, to refer a student to an author; to refer a beggar to an officer; to refer a bill to a committee; a court refers a matter of fact to a commissioner for investigation, or refers a question of law to a superior tribunal

  3. Refer(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; as, he referred the phenomena to electrical disturbances

  4. Refer(verb)

    to have recourse; to apply; to appeal; to betake one's self; as, to refer to a dictionary

  5. Refer(verb)

    to have relation or reference; to relate; to point; as, the figure refers to a footnote

  6. Refer(verb)

    to carry the mind or thought; to direct attention; as, the preacher referred to the late election

  7. Refer(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; as, I referred to his employer for the truth of his story


  1. refer

    refer is a program for managing bibliographic references, and citing them in troff documents. It is implemented as a troff preprocessor. refer was written by Mike E. Lesk at Bell Laboratories in or before 1978, and is now available as part of most Unix-like operating systems. A free reimplementation exists as part of the groff package. refer works with a reference file, a text file where the author lists works to which she might want to refer. One such reference might look like: The author then can refer to it in her troff document by listing keywords which uniquely match this reference: refer sees little use today, primarily because troff itself is not used much for longer technical writing that might need software support for reference and citation management.

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'refer' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #2813

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'refer' in Written Corpus Frequency: #2010

  3. Verbs Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'refer' in Verbs Frequency: #166

Anagrams of refer

  1. freer

Translations for refer

Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary


to talk or write (about something); to mention

He doesn't like anyone referring to his wooden leg; I referred to your theories in my last book.

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