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b : a person who reviews a paper and especially a technical paper and recommends that it should or should not be published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 Now the absence of independent referees is America’s own doing. The Economist, "It’s the end of the World Trade Organisation as we know it," 28 Nov. 2019 Bower echoed Browning and said referees are there to work. Sarah Ladd, The Courier-Journal, "Sports referees could get protections from abusive fans under proposed Kentucky law," 20 Nov. 2019 But the referees aren't entirely to blame for Detroit's struggles. Adam Renuart, CNN, "Three things to watch for this NFL Sunday: Rivalries, redemption and a battle of the birds," 20 Oct. 2019 The Texas Association of Sports Officials has been talking about a looming shortage of high school and junior high referees in all sports for almost a decade now. Mike Finger, ExpressNews.com, "With football officials under fire, who wants this job?," 15 Oct. 2019 But the bigger head-scratcher, Nurkic said, was the carelessness of referee Tyler Ford in the immediate aftermath of the injury. Joe Freeman, oregonlive, "Portland Trail Blazers’ Jusuf Nurkic ‘not looking back’ as he rehabs from gruesome leg injury," 1 Oct. 2019 Scotland scrumhalf Greig Laidlaw said the referee in Kobe, Pascal Gauzere of France, should be prepared to dish out red cards if Samoa keeps dishing out high tackles. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Scotland aims to make amends amid Samoa’s personnel problems," 28 Sep. 2019 The Alaska Board of Fisheries is the referee for the state’s fisheries, dividing the catch among different types of fishermen. James Brooks, Anchorage Daily News, "Investigation indicates Fish Board violated open meetings law, Alaska ombudsman says," 5 Sep. 2019 The moderators, with their emphasis on time-keeping and score-keeping and the rigid rules of the game, often played the role of referees. Megan Garber, The Atlantic, "CNN Thinks It’s ESPN," 31 July 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Unfortunately, Gomes suffered a horrifying broken and dislocated right ankle as a result - leading to referee Atkinson, who initially had a yellow card in his hand after the tackle, brandishing a red card. SI.com, "Tottenham Launch Son Heung-min Red Card Appeal After Unfortunate Andre Gomes Injury," 4 Nov. 2019 After graduating from umpire school in 1995, Dena went on to referee soccer, basketball and softball for over 20 years. courant.com, "Geraldine Solan," 4 Nov. 2019 Green complained to referee Curtis Blair and earned a technical foul, his first of the new season. Ron Kroichick, SFChronicle.com, "With Stephen Curry’s injury, Warriors’ season takes turn for the worse," 30 Oct. 2019 The ruling was a victory for state Democrats who lost a battle when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled earlier this year that such challenges were beyond the authority of federal courts to referee. NBC News, "Court throws out North Carolina's congressional district maps," 28 Oct. 2019 This is one of many impeachment subplots where the balance of power between Congress and the President — as empowered by Articles I and II of the Constitution, respectively — are murky at best and may require the courts (Article III) to referee. Chris Wilson, Time, "Here's the Deadline Countdown for Every Trump Impeachment Subpoena Issued So Far," 18 Oct. 2019 The Anchorage School District requested the decertification, which would strip the official of her ability to referee swim meets in the Anchorage area. Zaz Hollander, Anchorage Daily News, "Swimming official behind controversial Dimond High ‘uniform violation’ will keep certification," 16 Oct. 2019 Attempts to tightly referee political discourse often devolve into partisan point-scoring. John York, National Review, "Hey Democrats, ‘Disinformation’ Can Sort Itself Out," 8 Oct. 2019 So when Doc Rivers, the Clippers coach and Austin's dad, got a little too heated at Wednesday night's refereeing crew, Austin took advantage. Jordan Ray, Houston Chronicle, "Rockets' Austin Rivers calls for Clippers coach Doc Rivers, his dad, to get T'd up, sparking memes," 14 Nov. 2019

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

15 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Referee.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/referee?pronunciation&lang=en_us&dir=r&file=refere01. Accessed 16 December 2019.

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More Definitions for referee

referee

noun
How to pronounce referee (audio)

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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