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b : a person who reviews a paper and especially a technical paper and recommends that it should or should not be published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

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun There are also several women, including Lauren Holtkamp and Ashley Moyer-Gleich, who are NBA referees. Michael Mccann, SI.com, "Examining Every Aspect of the Luke Walton Investigation and Considering Next Steps," 27 Aug. 2019 Smoot has officiated at 11 FHSAA state championships and also is also a referee for USA Wrestling. Brant Parsons, orlandosentinel.com, "Six National Wrestling Hall of Fame Florida Chapter inductees to be honored this weekend," 13 Aug. 2019 My least favorite is probably referee, mostly between husband and wife or partners. Tyler Joe, House Beautiful, "Multifunctional Homes, and the Multitasking Designers Who Create Them," 5 Aug. 2019 Who will be the mystery guest referee in the Universal title match? Joe Nguyen, The Denver Post, "Stomping Grounds: Predictions, breakdowns of the WWE matches at Tacoma Dome," 16 June 2019 Felisha Mariscal, a Spanish teacher at Chula Vista High who is also an MLS assistant referee, will join Nesbitt in running the sideline. Kevin Baxter, latimes.com, "Kathryn Nesbitt’s ambition and talent have forged her path to Women’s World Cup," 3 June 2019 Plus, the podcast’s subject is pretty abstract: Who are the referees in our society? WSJ, "Michael Lewis Makes Boring Stuff Interesting," 17 May 2019 During the questioning, U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III will be both referee and wild card. Chad Day, The Seattle Times, "Testimony by ‘right-hand man’ critical in Manafort trial," 5 Aug. 2018 There were no American referees on the field during the 2006 and 2010 tournaments. Ronald Blum, Houston Chronicle, "El Paso native 1 of 2 US referees at World Cup," 15 June 2018 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Mark Dusbabek, the former Vikings-Gophers linebacker from Faribault, is working the 3M Open as a PGA Tour senior rules referee. Charley Walters, Twin Cities, "Charley Walters: Future looks bright for Minnesota’s 3M Open," 6 July 2019 The Robertsons brought in additional money by refereeing soccer games and tutoring students. Washington Post, "How I ditched debt: ‘It made our marriage so strong’," 2 July 2019 Concerns were expressed to referee Walt Anderson, and two alternate officials, using two separate gauges, checked 11 Pats’ balls at halftime, finding all of them under the 12.5 lower limit. SI.com, "A History of Football in 100 Objects," 28 Aug. 2019 Ian Murray, who officiates high school games in the winter, came in to referee the first week. Mike Jensen, chicagotribune.com, "Inside the Philadelphia basketball league for homeless men: ‘It helps me to realize who I really am’," 25 Aug. 2019 The legality of those decrees is dubious when used to circumvent lawmakers, meaning the court will likely be called upon to referee disputes. Jeffrey T. Lewis, WSJ, "Bolsonaro’s Conservative Agenda Is Tested in Brazilian Supreme Court," 23 June 2019 Obvious differences between the two versions include modern lacrosse’s colorful sticks, protective gear, large goals in which to fling the ball and referees watching each player’s every move. Evelyn Lillemoe / St. Paul Academy, Twin Cities, "ThreeSixty Journalism: Native lacrosse mixes competition and ceremony," 31 Aug. 2019 Kingsbury tried to explain to referee Carl Cheffers before Thursday’s game against the Raiders that Murray would be clapping multiple times as part of his cadence, but to no avail. Ben Volin, BostonGlobe.com, "With two weeks left in NFL training camps, several teams still unsettled at quarterback," 17 Aug. 2019 Palm Beach County referees and the Palm Beach County School District have come to an agreement on a pay raise in time for the referees to officiate this week’s kickoff classics. Adam Lichtenstein, sun-sentinel.com, "Palm Beach County referees, school district come to agreement before kickoff classics," 15 Aug. 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.

See More

First Known Use of referee

Noun

1549, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1883, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about referee

Statistics for referee

Last Updated

3 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for referee

The first known use of referee was in 1549

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on referee

What made you want to look up referee? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to engage in dissolute behavior

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Pass the Little Ribbons: A Pasta Word Quiz

  • rotelle pasta
  • Match the pasta to its meaning in English: Rotelle
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!