\ˈref \

Definition of ref 

(Entry 1 of 2)

: a referee in a game or sport

Definition of ref (Entry 2 of 2)

1 reference

2 refunding

Examples of ref in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Everyone tried to break it all up, then the ref’s father (who was working a game on a different court) ran over to our court and rushed our guys. Scooby Axson,, "Watch: Brawl Breaks Out Between Players, Refs at AAU Basketball Game," 8 July 2018 Two months later, the murder of the cockfighting ref remains unsolved. David Ovalle, miamiherald, "Who shot the cockfight ref? Secret arena outside Miami was packed but nobody's talking," 12 June 2018 An anonymous group of NBA refs will be live tweeting during Game 3 of the NBA Finals Wednesday from the official Twitter account of the group, @OfficialNBARefs. Khadrice Rollins,, "Officials Will Interact With Fans On Twitter During Game 3 of the NBA Finals," 6 June 2018 The ref let M’Baye Niang on, who lit the jets to touch it past, and that was that, the winning goal. Tim Bannon,, "World Cup winners and losers, Week 2: Burger King, own goals, Fox, flaming wallet and more," 25 June 2018 Curry appeared to claim that a fan shouted at the ref, not West. Andrew Joseph, For The Win, "David West somehow got a technical while riding a stationary bike in the tunnel," 22 Apr. 2018 When Kevin Durant drove the lane on the next Warriors possession, LeBron slid over to take the contact, and the refs initially called a charge. Andrew Sharp,, "An Inexplicable Calls Stains a Legendary NBA Finals Thriller," 1 June 2018 And no doubt being fouled more often than the refs are calling. Chris Fedor,, "Cleveland Cavaliers identify, ban fan indefinitely after racial slur toward Spurs' Patty Mills," 27 Feb. 2018 These days, refs mark out the distance, intended to reduce the baby-stepping wall participants once did to inch closer to the ball., "A Guide to the World Cup When You Know Nothing About Soccer," 26 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ref.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of ref


1890, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for ref

Last Updated

9 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for ref

The first known use of ref was in 1890

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English Language Learners Definition of ref

: a referee in a game or sport


\ˈref \

Kids Definition of ref

More from Merriam-Webster on ref

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with ref

Spanish Central: Translation of ref

Comments on ref

What made you want to look up ref? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to make faulty or ineffective

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