What does refer mean?

Definitions for refer

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word refer.

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"


  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

  8. Origin: [F. rfrer, L. referre; pref. re- re- + ferre to bear. See Bear to carry.]


  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.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Refer

    rē-fėr, v.t. to submit to another person or authority: to assign: to reduce: to carry back: to trace back: to hand over for consideration: to deliver over, as to refer a matter: to appeal: to direct for information.—v.i. to direct the attention: to give a reference: to have reference or recourse: to relate: to allude:—pr.p. refer′ring; pa.t. and pa.p. referred′.adjs. Ref′erable, Refer′rible, that may be referred or assigned to.—ns. Referēē′, one to whom anything is referred: an arbitrator, umpire, or judge; Ref′erence, the act of referring: a submitting for information or decision: relation: allusion: one who, or that which, is referred to: (law) the act of submitting a dispute for investigation or decision: a testimonial: a direction in a book, a quotation; Ref′erence-Bī′ble, a Bible having references to parallel passages; Ref′erence-book, a book to be referred to or consulted, as an encyclopædia; Ref′erence-Lī′brary, a library containing books to be consulted only in the premises.—n.pl. Ref′erence-marks (print.), the characters *, †, &c., used to refer to notes, &c.—ns. Referendar′, in Germany, a legal probationer who has passed the first of the two examinations for the judicial service; Referen′dary, one to whose decision a cause is referred, a referee: formerly a public official whose duty was to procure, execute, and despatch diplomas and charters, or who served as the medium of communication with a sovereign: the official through whom the patriarch of Constantinople communicates with the civil authorities; Referen′dum, in Switzerland, the right of the people to have all legislative acts passed in the Federal or Cantonal Assemblies referred to them en masse.—adj. Referen′tial, containing a reference: pointing or referring to something else.—adv. Referen′tially, in the way of reference.—ns. Refer′ment; Refer′rer. [O. Fr. referer (référer)—L. referre, to carry back—re-, back, ferre, to carry.]

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

How to pronounce refer?

  1. Alex
    US English

How to say refer in sign language?

  1. refer


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of refer in Chaldean Numerology is: 4

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of refer in Pythagorean Numerology is: 7

Examples of refer in a Sentence

  1. Kathleen Rehl:

    Lots of widows refer to it as jello brain.

  2. Larry Levine:

    He's going to what I like to refer to as 'Jewish heaven,'.

  3. Fara Bellows:

    If there’s anything concerning, they can refer you to a urologist.

  4. Edward Tufte:

    There are only two industries that refer to their customers as users.

  5. Susan Curry:

    Those are the folks I ’d be likely to refer to a behavioral counseling program.

Images & Illustrations of refer

  1. referreferreferreferrefer

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for refer

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

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"refer." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2019. Web. 12 Dec. 2019. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/refer>.

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