ref·​er·​en·​tial | \ˌre-fə-ˈren(t)-shəl \

Definition of referential 

: of, containing, or constituting a reference especially : pointing to or involving a referent referential language referential meaning

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Other Words from referential

referentiality \ˌre-​fə-​ˌren(t)-​shē-​ˈa-​lə-​tē \ noun
referentially \ˌre-​fə-​ˈren(t)-​sh(ə-​)lē \ adverb

Examples of referential in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

And keeping the media focused on a self-referential feud between Trump and the media is a way to maintain his preferred approach of trying to suck up all the oxygen in the room. Matthew Yglesias, Vox, "Jim Acosta vs. the Trump White House, explained," 14 Nov. 2018 The second falls into Tam’s context — self-referential marks. Sonia K. Katyal,, "The sudden rush of vulgar trademarks," 23 June 2018 In keeping with the referential theme, a subsequent share saw Baldwin in a crop top coupled with suspenders, making what seemed to be an intentional nod to Jovovich's Leeloo. Calin Van Paris, Vogue, "Hailey Baldwin Reveals a New Shocking Neon Hair Color on Instagram," 7 June 2018 The show really pushes its self-referential cred to the edge by conflating Arthur’s mission with the production’s own crusade to make it to Broadway. James Hebert,, "'Spamalot' induces more than canned laughter in Cygnet revival," 2 July 2018 While the Kenyon log cabin was built with function in mind, Richards expanded that when architects were tapped for Yale tombs, designs took on a more referential form, often echoing religious architecture. Robert Khederian, Curbed, "Tomb raiders: The clubhouses of Yale’s secret societies," 21 June 2018 But as the end of the 2010s approaches, reality TV has become an ouroboros, so self-referential and saturated that opportunities for advancement — or growth, or shock — have winnowed. Jon Caramanica, New York Times, "On ‘Jersey Shore Family Vacation’ and ‘Trading Spaces,’ Reality TV Eats Itself," 4 Apr. 2018 But in the final half hour Mooney unhelpfully widens her focus, chasing numerous self-referential ideas down conceptual dead ends and indulging in scattershot anecdote assemblage rather than meaningful resolution of her tantalizing material. Justin Hayford, Chicago Reader, "A playwright’s attack on her own character amounts to Empty Threats," 21 June 2018 Rap is often a self-referential art form -- look no further than JAY-Z’s call-backs to his previous work on Everything Is Love. Eric Renner Brown, Billboard, "Beyonce's Got Bars: Her 5 Standout Rap Moments From 'Everything Is Love'," 17 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'referential.' 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 referential

1660, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

25 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for referential

The first known use of referential was in 1660

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a nest or breeding place

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