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b : a person who reviews a paper and especially a technical paper and recommends that it should or should not be published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 As the referee blew the full-time whistle, cameras showed Mourinho and Klopp involved in a touchline exchange that seemingly ended amicably. Ben Church, CNN, "Liverpool scores a late winner against Tottenham to move to top of the English Premier League," 16 Dec. 2020 Then as Salpointe attempted to punt from the 3 on fourth-and-57, its kicker caught the ball and the referee blew the whistle as the kicker stepped out of bounds in the back of the end zone. Dana Scott, The Arizona Republic, "Hamilton dominates Salpointe Catholic, moves to Open Division title game," 6 Dec. 2020 Things were mucky from the opening draw, when New York center Casey Cizikas spilled referee Dan O’Rourke, sending him flying with an accidental trip. Matt Porter, BostonGlobe.com, "Islanders break through against Bruins, 1-0," 18 Jan. 2021 Popovich was tossed in the second quarter of the Spurs’ loss to the Los Angeles Lakers for arguing with a referee. Ben Cohen, WSJ, "Becky Hammon Coaches in the NBA and Makes History," 31 Dec. 2020 Jordan pleaded his case that he was getting held with the referee after getting flagged for unnecessary roughness. Amie Just | Staff Writer, NOLA.com, "Slow start, lopsided time of possession dooms Saints against Chiefs," 20 Dec. 2020 Kevin McCardle, the city council president, heard the news in a text from a fellow referee and was shocked. Annie Gowen, Anchorage Daily News, "COVID-19 gets personal in a South Dakota town as neighbors die and a mask mandate is debated," 9 Dec. 2020 Kevin McCardle, the city council president, heard the news in a text from a fellow referee and was shocked. Annie Gowen, Washington Post, "‘God be with us’," 9 Dec. 2020 The rookie ran up to the referee and bumped into him while joining his teammates in demanding a yellow card for the tackle. Julia Poe, orlandosentinel.com, "Orlando City coaches, players fined following New England playoff loss," 4 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb At one point, when McAvoy popped out of the box at the 3:32 mark, referee Steve Kozari had to stop play to make sure the right player was leaving. Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, "Brad Marchand and Sean Kuraly strike in the third period as Bruins rally again to beat Flyers," 5 Feb. 2021 Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said after the game that crew chief Ben Taylor had told him at halftime that referee John Butler thought Green was yelling at him and made a mistake by giving Green his second technical, which triggered the ejection. Connor Letourneau, SFChronicle.com, "NBA to rescind Draymond Green’s second technical from Warriors-Knicks game," 22 Jan. 2021 Shannon is going to referee every game that Sophie ever plays in. Brian Moylan, Vulture, "The Real Housewives of Orange County Season Finale Recap: Sex, Lies, and COVID-eotape," 13 Jan. 2021 But referee Brad Allen's crew saw this one differently and called pass interference on Davis — the other call that a perturbed Zimmer said changed the game. Star Tribune, "It took half a quarter vs. Tampa Bay for game to fall apart for Vikings," 13 Dec. 2020 Boger was the second African-American to referee a Super Bowl, and three of the other officials on Monday night – Carl Johnson, Barry Anderson and Greg Steed – graded well enough last season to earn assignments for Super Bowl LIV. Jarrett Bell, USA TODAY, "Tom Brady, Buccaneers again fall flat in prime time with loss to Rams," 24 Nov. 2020 In an Italian village, some old men asked us to referee their dispute over changes in the retirement laws. Ron Grossman, chicagotribune.com, "Column: The pandemic nixed foreign travel but opened our eyes to the exotic appeal of our city’s streets," 27 Dec. 2020 Yet even as the fouls piled up, Guatemalan referee Mario Escobar kept his cards in his pocket. Kevin Baxter, Los Angeles Times, "Late goal by Tigres ends LAFC’s historic CONCACAF run," 22 Dec. 2020 In his 17th NFL season, referee Jerome Boger will lead the officiating crew for the Monday night game. Mark Inabinett | Minabinett@al.com, al, "UAB alumnus part of NFL officiating history," 23 Nov. 2020

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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Time Traveler for referee

Time Traveler

The first known use of referee was in 1549

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Statistics for referee

Last Updated

24 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Referee.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/referee. Accessed 24 Feb. 2021.

Style: MLA
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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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