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cross-ref·​er·​ence ˈkrȯs-ˈre-fərn(t)s How to pronounce cross-reference (audio)
: a notation or direction at one place (as in a book or filing system) to pertinent information at another place


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cross-referenced; cross-referencing; cross-references

transitive verb

: to supply with cross-references
cross-reference a book
: to research, verify, or organize by means of cross-references
cross-reference information

Examples of cross-reference in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
Script-writing teams may appreciate an artificial agent that can look up dialog or cross-reference on the fly. Janet Vertesi, Fortune, 24 Sep. 2023
Even when anonymized, agencies can cross-reference data sets to reveal information about specific individuals. Olivia Gazis, CBS News, 16 June 2023 The agenda book was more useful, offering a way to cross-reference many of the meetings Villarejo claimed to have had. Nicholas Casey, New York Times, 10 June 2023 The idea is that future AI systems will be able to cross-reference this data in the same way that current AI systems do for text inputs. James Vincent, The Verge, 9 May 2023 At its lab in The Hague, the commission’s technicians can extract DNA from tiny samples of bone and cross-reference them with samples provided by families of the missing. Mike Corder,, 6 Apr. 2023 The pages of a spam cluster all cross-reference one another, creating the illusion that a lot of people are linking to a site. Ariel Bleicher, IEEE Spectrum, 28 Feb. 2011 The DAs could then cross-reference the list with their criminal cases and identify any wrongful convictions. oregonlive, 4 Mar. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'cross-reference.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use


1834, in the meaning defined above


1902, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of cross-reference was in 1834

Dictionary Entries Near cross-reference

Cite this Entry

“Cross-reference.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Oct. 2023.

Kids Definition


: a reference made from one place to another (as in a dictionary)

More from Merriam-Webster on cross-reference

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