\ ˈref How to pronounce ref (audio) \

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 Joaquin was frustrated by a series of bad calls a referee had made in a basketball game; that inspired the father and son to call the recreational league and ask to have the ref switched for someone who was fair. Emily Shapiro, ABC News, "Parkland shooting 2 years later: Remembering the 17 victims of the school massacre," 14 Feb. 2020 Rodgers radiates simmering intensity on the field and doesn’t hesitate to bark at teammates, refs and coaches. Scott Ostler,, "49ers’ Jimmy Garoppolo vs. Packers’ Aaron Rodgers: Who will win this generational battle?," 17 Jan. 2020 At the end of the match, the ref would be distracted as Alexa Bliss and Kairi Sane fought on the outside. Aaron Oster,, "WWE’s Hell in a Cell ending draws ire of fans," 7 Oct. 2019 But these awards also have so much more – including a ref getting knocked the heck over and Travis Kelce quoting the Beastie Boys while talking with Jim Nantz. Andy Nesbitt, For The Win, "This Super Bowl 54 matchup is so darn perfect," 20 Jan. 2020 No need to send a ref over to a monitor or for the umps to jaunt over to the dugout to put on the silly headphones and waste 5 minutes. Paul Uhls,, "Guest Morning Line: Let's figure out instant replay in sports or just stop using it," 3 Jan. 2020 Not settling for the jumper, but actually making the ref call the fouls was particularly impressive. -- Douglas. Ira Winderman,, "ASK IRA: Is Jimmy Butler proving to be the ultimate teammate?," 2 Dec. 2019 This is a man who was fined by Conference USA earlier this year for tweeting a photo of blind refs. John Talty |, al, "Ole Miss smartly swings big while Arkansas bungles search," 9 Dec. 2019 Unfortunately the ref is there to protect you and Mario DID NOT do that. Andrew Joseph, For The Win, "Dana White and UFC fans blast referee's disgraceful performance in lopsided fight," 4 Feb. 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

18 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Ref.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for ref


How to pronounce ref (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of ref

informal : a referee in a game or sport


\ ˈref How to pronounce ref (audio) \

Kids Definition of ref

More from Merriam-Webster on ref

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with ref

Spanish Central: Translation of ref

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