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b : a person who reviews a paper and especially a technical paper and recommends that it should or should not be published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

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 Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue took shots at referees after Game 1 over a controversial block-charge call at the end of regulation. Ryan Gaydos, Fox News, "Cleveland Cavaliers' Tristan Thompson storms out of interview after question about Stephen Curry," 4 June 2018 The most brazen recent example came from Kanye West, who has been hard at work to position himself as an impish referee of national discord. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, "Fight Songs: Can Political Debate Make Good Music?," 18 May 2018 Fifty-seven seconds into Greg Hardy’s first professional MMA fight, the referee had seen enough. Robert Klemko, SI.com, "Greg Hardy, the UFC and the Limits of the Second Chance," 25 June 2018 There is video of what happened and the referee could have seen it. Derek Gatopoulos, BostonGlobe.com, "Switzerland springs surprise, holds Brazil to a 1-1 draw," 17 June 2018 There is video of what happened and the referee could have seen it. Afp, chicagotribune.com, "Switzerland hold Brazil to draw as Neymar plays full game," 17 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 Monday's meeting brought together IFAB technical experts, FIFA refereeing officials, and researchers from the University of Leuven in Belgium, who have studied use of video review in 804 games across more than 20 competitions. USA TODAY, "FIFA: Video tech 'definitely' at World Cup, finding sponsor," 22 Jan. 2018 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

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

1 Dec 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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