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b : a person who reviews a paper and especially a technical paper and recommends that it should or should not be published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

With the game level at 2-2 going into stoppage time, Kane went down in the box following a challenge from Sokratis Papastathopoulos, but referee Martin Atkinson remained unmoved. SI.com, "Harry Kane Insists He Didn't Dive in Attempt to Win Penalty During 2-2 Arsenal Draw," 2 Sep. 2019 But a vicious hit to the head of Stanford quarterback K.J. Costello that was not called for targeting by the visiting Big Ten referees in the second quarter could very well end up affecting the Pac-12 race in the coming weeks. Los Angeles Times, "College football spotlight: Oregon blows big chance for itself and Pac-12," 31 Aug. 2019 Only after referees intervened did the skirmishes ended. Fox News, "Chinese, Hong Kong youth ice hockey players clash in wild brawl," 2 Aug. 2019 Targeting comes with an automatic ejection from the game but the UIL has modified the rule to allow referees more comfortability in making the call. Adam Coleman, Houston Chronicle, "UIL football state championships staying at AT&T Stadium in near future," 23 July 2019 Hardy rained down one uncontested right hand to the head after another until referee Dan Miragliotta waved things off. Dave Doyle, MMA Junkie, "UFC on ESPN 4 results: Greg Hardy rolls over Juan Adams," 20 July 2019 There’s some inconsistencies, but this is the first time all these referees have actually used it. Rob Harris, SFChronicle.com, "Megan Rapinoe winning in all facets of game," 7 July 2019 On June 18, 2017, 28 players, five referees, and more than 20 support crew set out on a nine-day trek from the city of Arusha, Tanzania. Meghan Mcdonough, Quartz, "Female soccer players are breaking world records to show they’re just as good as the guys," 7 July 2019 To this end, referees don’t always enforce the rules. Nell Haynes, The Conversation, "How indigenous women revolutionized Bolivian wrestling," 5 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The entire Marin Catholic’s sideline immediately contested that the Wildcats receiver was down, but referees stood with the call, giving McClymonds a 13-6 lead heading into the break. Justice Delos Santos, The Mercury News, "Football: McClymonds’ defense leads the way against Marin Catholic," 31 Aug. 2019 Miocic followed with a right to the jaw and a flurry as Cormier crumbled, and referee Herb Dean stepped in to call the fight. Manouk Akopyan, Los Angeles Times, "UFC 241: Stipe Miocic knocks out Daniel Cormier to regain heavyweight belt," 17 Aug. 2019 In the midst of Fonseca checking with one of her assistant referees about the penalty call, players from both teams argued and Marta pushed Houston’s Kristie Mewis. Luis Torres, Pro Soccer USA, "Orlando Pride star Ali Krieger rips referees, NWSL following loss to Houston," 12 Aug. 2019 Ortega points out the lack of a shot clock and a lack of three-men referee crews at all games, although the AIA last year made an effort to get more three-man crews to games. Richard Obert, azcentral, "Phoenix metro area has suddenly become a hotbed for prep basketball academies," 19 July 2019 The heat also sparked a dispute between the Moroccan coach and referees over a lack of water breaks. Scientific American, "As the World Heats Up, Soccer Must Adapt," 2 July 2019 In two other fights, referees named Pacquiao the loser: once, absurdly, in 2012, against Timothy Bradley, and another time, less absurdly (though probably still not accurately), in 2017, against Jeff Horn. Kelefa Sanneh, The New Yorker, "Manny Pacquiao Might Be Making a Terrible Mistake," 18 July 2019 The Supreme Court finally agreed Friday to referee a two-year-old dispute between President Trump and Democrats in Congress over the fate of nearly 700,000 undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children. Richard Wolf, USA TODAY, "Supreme Court to hear Trump administration plea to end DACA program for immigrants who came as children," 28 June 2019 Video review, adopted by FIFA for the men’s World Cup last year, showed its impact when Stephanie Frappart, the first woman to referee a men’s Ligue 1 match, went to the screen at the side of the field and then signaled toward the spot. Anne M. Peterson, Twin Cities, "United States defeats Netherlands 2-0 for record fourth Women’s World Cup title," 7 July 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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Statistics for referee

Last Updated

8 Sep 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 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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