re·​fer·​ral | \ ri-ˈfər-əl How to pronounce referral (audio) \

Definition of referral

1 : the act, action, or an instance of referring gave the patient a referral to a specialist
2 : one that is referred

Examples of referral in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Recipients must now give every pregnant patient a referral for prenatal care. Shari Rudavsky, Indianapolis Star, "'Devastating for women': How Planned Parenthood funding battle could affect Indiana," 22 Aug. 2019 And, the task force noted, screening cannot take place in a vacuum: Doctors must be able to offer referrals for further diagnosis and treatment. Jan Hoffman,, "Screen all adult patients for drug abuse, national panel urges," 13 Aug. 2019 JCPS Family Resource and Youth Services Centers coordinators will complete CAP referrals for families needing clothing and uniform assistance. Gege Reed, The Courier-Journal, "Get free backpacks and school supplies at these JCPS Back-to-School Festivals," 29 July 2019 Beyond learning how to confront difficult situations, being honest allows your therapist to give you some suggestions or even a referral for another professional who might be a better fit. Patia Braithwaite, SELF, "What It Means If You're Dreading Your Therapy Sessions," 12 July 2019 The agency already has received referrals for nearly 41,000 kids so far this fiscal year, marking an increase of almost 57% over the same period last year. NBC News, "Federal government to use Army base in Oklahoma to shelter migrant children," 12 June 2019 Others may get referrals for mental health treatment, Alexander said. James Causey, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Milwaukee judges say helping people earn back their driver licenses could cut down on reckless driving," 7 June 2019 Carrying a loaded firearm could net a fine of up to $2,660, plus a referral for criminal charges. Robert Higgs,, "TSA security, Cleveland police detain traveler at Hopkins International Airport after loaded handgun is found in carry-on bag," 7 June 2019 Strzok, who worked on both the Clinton email and Russia probes, was escorted from the FBI on Tuesday, following a referral for further investigation from DOJ IG Michael Horowitz. Brooke Singman, Fox News, "'Extraordinary' Strzok removal shows FBI agents in crosshairs from IG probe," 21 June 2018

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

1927, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for referral

Last Updated

3 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for referral

The first known use of referral was in 1927

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More Definitions for referral



English Language Learners Definition of referral

: the act of sending someone to another person or place for treatment, help, advice, etc.


re·​fer·​ral | \ ri-ˈfər-əl How to pronounce referral (audio) \

Medical Definition of referral

1 : the process of directing or redirecting (as a medical case or a patient) to an appropriate specialist or agency for definitive treatment
2 : an individual that is referred


re·​fer·​ral | \ ri-ˈfər-əl How to pronounce referral (audio) \

Legal Definition of referral

: the act or an instance of referring appealed the referral of the bill to the Budget Committee

More from Merriam-Webster on referral

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with referral

Nglish: Translation of referral for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of referral for Arabic Speakers

Comments on referral

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one from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan

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