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b : a person who reviews a paper and especially a technical paper and recommends that it should or should not be published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

After the video assistant referee (VAR) reviewed, a penalty was called. CBS News, "2018 World Cup: How to watch Monday's matches, scores and updates," 18 June 2018 So did 12-time PGA Tour winner Steve Stricker, an NHL referee named Garrett Rank and Stanford alums Patrick Rodgers and Cameron Wilson. Ron Kroichick, San Francisco Chronicle, "U.S. Open qualifying: Only the scorecard matters," 6 June 2018 Kane practically had the shirt pulled off his back by Godoy, and the Egyptian referee was having absolutely none of it. SI.com, "England 6-1 Panama: Three Lions Roar With Biggest Ever World Cup Win to Book Last 16 Spot," 24 June 2018 The first referee in the spotlight will be Nestor Pitana of Argentina, who will handle the Russia-Saudi Arabia match in Moscow on Thursday . . BostonGlobe.com, "World Cup referees prepared to take good long look at video reviews," 13 June 2018 On the play, the Saints had just eight men on the field, but the referees were clearly content to just have the play happen regardless as Vikings quarterback Case Keenum kneeled instead of trying to add to the lead. Josh Katzenstein, NOLA.com, "Will Drew Brees' sons be ball boys in this year's Pro Bowl?," 18 Jan. 2018 Later additions mandated the number of players (eleven a side) and introduced the referee, the goal net, the crossbar, the free kick, and the dreaded penalty spot. Leo Robson, The New Yorker, "How We Watch Soccer Now," 5 Dec. 2016 Pique wagged a finger at Dutch referee Bjorn Kuipers, but the decision stood. Ronald Blum, chicagotribune.com, "'Tiki-taka' generation ends as Spain leave the World Cup," 1 July 2018 Ted Ruta started working as a football referee to make a bit of extra money for his family. Iliana Limón Romero, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Former ref, longtime volunteer Ted Ruta earns Florida Citrus Sports top honor," 12 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 After moving to Howard County to work for the National Security Agency at Fort Meade, McAulay refereed high school games — mostly in Howard and Anne Arundel counties — between 1982 and 1993. The Baltimore Sun, baltimoresun.com, "Former NFL referee Terry McAulay of Howard County joins NBC Sports as rules analyst," 27 June 2018 Johnny Torres referees as Quantrell Williams (10) and German Pena (11) duke it out. Santos A. Perez, miamiherald, "A phone call was responsible for getting this Hall of Famer back into the sports he loves," 10 June 2018 Brazil were unusually wasteful in the first half and they were nearly punished when Belgium had a goal harshly ruled out for no apparent reason - a reflection of the quality of refereeing for the entire tournament. SI.com, "World Cup Preview: Brazil vs Belgium - Previous Meeting, Team News, Predictions & More," 5 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

13 Jan 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 \

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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