1

reference

noun ref·er·ence \ ˈre-fərn(t)s , ˈre-f(ə-)rən(t)s \

Definition of reference

1 :the act of referring or consulting
2 :a bearing on a matter :relation
  • in reference to your recent letter
3 :something that refers: such as
b :something (such as a sign or indication) that refers a reader or consulter to another source of information (such as a book or passage)
c :consultation of sources of information
4 :one referred to or consulted: such as
a :a person to whom inquiries as to character or ability can be made
b :a statement of the qualifications of a person seeking employment or appointment given by someone familiar with the person
c (1) :a source of information (such as a book or passage) to which a reader or consulter is referred
(2) :a work (such as a dictionary or encyclopedia) containing useful facts or information

Examples of reference in a Sentence

  1. references to an earlier event

  2. The numbers were calculated by reference to the most recent census.

  3. Reference to a map will make the position clear.

  4. She listed her former teacher as a reference when she applied for the job.

  5. Her former teacher gave her a reference when she applied for the job.

  6. Her teacher gave her a letter of reference.

Recent Examples of reference from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'reference.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of reference

1579

reference Synonyms


2

reference

adjective

Definition of reference

:used or usable for reference; especially :constituting a standard for measuring or constructing

Examples of reference in a Sentence

  1. a list of reference materials

First Known Use of reference

1856


3

reference

verb

Definition of reference

referenced; referencing
transitive verb
1 a :to supply with references
b :to cite in or as a reference
2 :to put in a form (such as a table) adapted to easy reference

Examples of reference in a Sentence

  1. The book references many other authors who have written on this topic.

Recent Examples of reference from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'reference.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of reference

1876



REFERENCE Defined for English Language Learners

reference

noun

Definition of reference for English Language Learners

  • : the act of mentioning something in speech or in writing : the act of referring to something or someone

  • : the act of looking at or in something for information

  • : a person who can be asked for information about another person's character, abilities, etc.


reference

adjective

Definition of reference for English Language Learners

  • : used to find information about something

  • : used to tell people where information can be found


reference

verb

Definition of reference for English Language Learners

  • : to mention (something or someone) in speech or in writing : to refer to (something or someone)


REFERENCE Defined for Kids

reference

noun ref·er·ence \ ˈre-fə-rəns , ˈref-rəns \

Definition of reference for Students

1 :the act of looking at or in something for information Reference to a map will make our location clear.
2 :a relation to or concern with something
  • I am writing in reference to your advertisement.
3 :the act or an instance of mentioning
  • They made no references to my error.
4 :a work (as a dictionary) that contains useful information
5 :something that refers a reader to another source of information
6 :a person who can be asked for information about another person's character or ability
7 :a written statement about someone's character or ability

Medical Dictionary

reference

adjective ref·er·ence \ ˈref-(ə-)rən(t)s \

medical Definition of reference

:of known potency and used as a standard in the biological assay of a sample of the same drug of unknown strength
  • a dose of reference cod-liver oil

reference

medical Definition of reference


Law Dictionary

reference

noun ref·er·ence \ ˈre-frəns, -fə-rəns \

legal Definition of reference

1 :an act of referring; specifically :mention or citation of one document (as a statute) in another
  • a municipality may adopt by reference all or a part of this title
  • Alaska Statutes
— see also incorporate
2 :a referral especially to a legislative committee or master; also :an order referring a matter to a master
  • the extent to which any party is more responsible than other parties for the reference to a master
  • Federal Rules of Civil Procedure Rule 53(g)


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