referee

noun
ref·er·ee | \ˌre-fə-ˈrē \

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b : a person who reviews a paper and especially a technical paper and recommends that it should or should not be published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

Lots of nervous energy here, and the referee wants to keep a lid on extra stuff right away. Rory Smith, New York Times, "Croatia Digs Deeper, Burying England’s World Cup Dreams," 12 July 2018 In so many cases throughout soccer’s past, access to video replays would have helped the referees correct their mistakes, possibly altering the course of the match—and history. Chris Stirewalt, Fox News, "Fox News Power Rankings: Hello, Wisconsin," 12 July 2018 Jesse Lingard and Marcus Rashford quietly restarted and managed to get into Croatia's box before the referee called them back. Charlotte Carroll, SI.com, "WATCH: England Tried to Score While Croatia Was Celebrating Go-Ahead Goal," 12 July 2018 The referee handed out a technical foul before ejecting a R.A.W. Athletics player. Chelsea Prince, ajc, "Coach: Viral video of brawl at basketball game doesn’t tell whole story," 10 July 2018 Video showed the players punching and kicking the referee. Justin Sayers, The Courier-Journal, "Louisville-area AAU team witnessed RAW Athletics brawl with ref," 9 July 2018 The Red Devils must have been even more nervous when Neymar went down in the box, but the referee correctly waved away his penalty claim. James Taylor, Pro Soccer USA, "Brazil 1-2 Belgium: Red Devils Shatter Brazil’s Dreams With Clinical Display to Set Up France Clash," 6 July 2018 Will that prompt the referee to give the Belgian defenders more leeway, or will Neymar keep getting the calls? baltimoresun.com, "What to watch for in today's World Cup quarterfinal matchups," 6 July 2018 The Senegalese referee managed the game perfectly (unlike the refereeing in some of the other games), and much of it was played out through intricate work in the midfield. Laurent Dubois, The Atlantic, "The Improbable Beauty of Lukaku’s Hop," 6 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Slovenian referee Damir Skomina is set to take charge of the clash at the Stadio Olimpico on Wednesday, although his previous record when refereeing the Anfield side could be an ominous sign for them. SI.com, "Referee Appointment for Liverpool's UCL Semi Final Second Leg Has Unfortunate Record With Reds," 1 May 2018 With the whistle Andres Cunha of Uruguay was assigned to referee the match after working France's opening 2-1 win over Australia and Spain's 1-0 victory over Iran in the group stage. Jerome Pugmire, baltimoresun.com, "France vs. Belgium: What you need to know for Tuesday's World Cup semifinal," 9 July 2018 Nestor Pitana of Argentina will referee the World Cup final between France and Croatia, FIFA announced on Thursday. Afp, chicagotribune.com, "Argentine referee Pitana to officiate Sunday's World Cup final," 12 July 2018 More: 22 years later, the weight of the world is off England's shoulders The way the game turned nasty also earned the Major League Soccer referee some criticism on social media. Martin Rogers, USA TODAY, "Colombian captain blasts American World Cup referee for 'shamefully' favoring England," 4 July 2018 And as referees awarded more penalties, players took more dives over the course of a match. Umair Irfan, Vox, "Why soccer players take dives," 21 June 2018 But as Guatemalan referee Juan Carlos Guerra stared at his watch and raised his whistle to his lips, that confidence gave way to despair. Kevin Baxter, latimes.com, "As World Cup looms, U.S. players still lament loss in Trinidad," 7 May 2018 Pitana, a former actor who has already refereed four games including the tournament opener between host nation Russia and Saudi Arabia and France's quarter-final win over Uruguay, will take charge of Sunday's showpiece at Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium. Afp, chicagotribune.com, "Argentine referee Pitana to officiate Sunday's World Cup final," 12 July 2018 The state water board, which referees California's complicated water-rights system, also is in charge of policing the quality of the water that goes through the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta — the ailing hub of the state's water delivery system. Dale Kasler, sacbee, "California has a new plan for allocating its water, and it means less for farmers," 6 July 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

6 Oct 2018

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 \

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 \

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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