referee

noun
ref·​er·​ee | \ ˌre-fə-ˈrē How to pronounce referee (audio) \

Definition of referee

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : one to whom a thing is referred: such as
a : a person to whom a legal matter is referred for investigation and report or for settlement
b : a person who reviews a paper and especially a technical paper and recommends that it should or should not be published
c chiefly British : reference sense 4a
2 : a sports official usually having final authority in administering a game

referee

verb
refereed; refereeing

Definition of referee (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to conduct (a match or game) as referee
2a : to arbitrate (something, such as a legal matter) as a judge or third party
b : to review (something, such as a technical paper) before publication

intransitive verb

: to act as a referee

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Examples of referee in a Sentence

Noun

served as the unofficial referee in disputes over the family business

Verb

She refereed the basketball game. He has refereed for several years now.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

But, as soon as the referee blew his whistle, Isaiah bolted and made his great escape—by running in circles. Katina Beniaris, Country Living, "Watch This Tiny 4-Year-Old Wrestler Hilariously Run Away from His Competitor," 2 Mar. 2017 Durant was being defended by Winslow with about 10 seconds left in a tie game, dribbling as Golden State’s DeMarcus Cousins came to set a pick, the whole play unfolding not far from referee Kevin Cutler. Tim Reynolds, The Seattle Times, "NBA says key call was missed late in Heat-Warriors game," 11 Feb. 2019 The referee reviews it and decides to rescind the call! Joel Petterson, New York Times, "Colombia Emerges From the World Cup Chaos, Booting Senegal," 29 June 2018 Terry McAulay, the former NFL referee who lives in Glenwood, will be joining NBC Sports as on-air rules analyst for Sunday Night Football and Notre Dame games, the network announced Wednesday. The Baltimore Sun, baltimoresun.com, "Former NFL referee Terry McAulay of Howard County joins NBC Sports as rules analyst," 27 June 2018 However, the winger made a lot of it, and the referee did review the claim under VAR. SI.com, "Brazil 2-0 Costa Rica: Late Double Makes Victory Look Easy for Brazil In Hard Fought Encounter," 22 June 2018 The referees also reviewed whether James was in a legal guarding position, which is an additional reviewable matter for this replay trigger. Jeff Zillgitt, USA TODAY, "NBA's Last Two-Minute report: Draymond Green committed lane violation on George Hill FT," 1 June 2018 The referees did not review the play, and even though the Celtics didn't score on the ensuing possession, the Bucks didn't get the ball back until there were 48.8 seconds remaining. Matt Velazquez, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Celtics 92, Bucks 87: Loss follows a familiar script," 24 Apr. 2018 Then, when things broke against it, Mourinho would trot out the same rotation of excuses: injuries, referees, his players’ motivation, and injuries again. Joshua Robinson, WSJ, "Mourinho Fired From Manchester United as Premier League Heavyweights Struggle," 18 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

All other refereeing aspects like reading the game, uniformity and consistency in their decisions, positioning etc. Rob Harris, The Seattle Times, "Refs train with VAR ahead of approval for Women’s World Cup," 4 Feb. 2019 Two hours earlier, a very different side of Macron was seen during a break of play to review a refereeing decision that changed the game in France's favor. Graham Dunbar, Fox News, "French President Macron has plenty of fun at World Cup final," 15 July 2018 Petr Cech - A few dodgy refereeing decisions may have gone against Arsenal recently but their defence has still been pretty poor, resulting in Cech conceding eight goals in his last four league games. SI.com, "Premier League Fantasy Football: Who's Hot and Who's Not in Gameweek 23," 12 Jan. 2018 There were also documents suggesting connections between the club and the men responsible for overseeing refereeing in Portugal. Cyrus Farivar, Ars Technica, "Why is a Lisbon soccer team trying to unmask Portuguese bloggers in US court?," 12 Oct. 2018 David Socha was the first American to referee a World Cup match, whistling one match each in 1982 and 1986. Ronald Blum, Houston Chronicle, "El Paso native 1 of 2 US referees at World Cup," 15 June 2018 Thirteen VARs have been pre-selected and are being trained at Italy's Coverciano complex, and FIFA referees chief Pierluigi Collina said more VARs and VAR assistants will be chosen from the 99 match officials. Andrew Dampf, chicagotribune.com, "VAR decisions to be shown on big screens at World Cup," 18 Apr. 2018 If a match does not produce a winner in that time, referees grant extensions. Washington Post, "AP PHOTOS: Oil wrestling practiced with devotion in Greece," 4 July 2018 His aggressive style and truculent treatment of Premier League referees made him an imposing figure for any opposition. SI.com, "Pascal Chimbonda and 24 Other Classic Premier League Players You'd Forgotten: No. 9 - Luís Boa Morte," 10 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'referee.' 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 referee

Noun

1549, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1883, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

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Statistics for referee

Last Updated

21 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for referee

The first known use of referee was in 1549

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More Definitions for referee

referee

noun

English Language Learners Definition of referee

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a person who makes sure that players act according to the rules of a game or sport

referee

verb

English Language Learners Definition of referee (Entry 2 of 2)

sports : to act as a referee in (a game or sport)

referee

noun
ref·​er·​ee | \ ˌre-fə-ˈrē How to pronounce referee (audio) \

Kids Definition of referee

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a sports official with final authority for conducting a game
2 : a person who is asked to settle a disagreement

referee

verb
refereed; refereeing

Kids Definition of referee (Entry 2 of 2)

: to act or be in charge of as referee I referee basketball games.

referee

noun
ref·​er·​ee | \ ˌre-fə-ˈrē How to pronounce referee (audio) \

Legal Definition of referee

: an officer appointed by a court or quasi-judicial body (as a workers' compensation board) to investigate a case, report findings, and often to make orders subject to review the board may affirm, reverse, modify or supplement the order of the refereeOregon Revised Statutes

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