Simple Definition of refer
: to send (someone or something) to a particular person or place for treatment, help, advice, etc.
Full Definition of refer
1 a (1) : to think of, regard, or classify within a general category or group (2) : to explain in terms of a general cause b : to allot to a particular place, stage, or period c : to regard as coming from or located in a specific area
2 a : to send or direct for treatment, aid, information, or decision <refer a patient to a specialist> <refer a bill back to a committee> b : to direct for testimony or guaranty as to character or ability
1 a : to have relation or connection : relate b : to direct attention usually by clear and specific mention <no one referred to yesterday's quarrel>
2 : to have recourse : glance briefly <referred frequently to his notes while speaking>
Examples of refer in a sentence
How can doctors refer patients for treatment without examining them first?
Most of the patients we see here were referred by other doctors.
Origin of refer
Middle English referren, from Anglo-French referer, referir, from Latin referre to bring back, report, refer, from re- + ferre to carry — more at bear
First Known Use: 14th century
REFER Defined for Kids
Definition of refer for Students
1 : to look at for information <She kept referring to her notes.>
2 : to send or direct to some person or place for treatment, aid, information, or decision <The patient was referred to a specialist.>
3 : to call attention <Jeremy wondered what had possessed him to refer to Prince Brat as his friend. — Sid Fleischman, The Whipping Boy>
4 : to mention (something) in talking or writing
Medical Definition of refer
1: to regard as coming from or localized in a certain portion of the body or of space <pain of appendicitis may be referred to any region of the abdomen—Encyclopedia Americana>
2: to send or direct for diagnosis or treatment <refer a patient to a specialist>
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up refer? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).