re·fer·ral | \ ri-ˈfər-əl \

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

Over the next three years, the department looked opened 10 more referrals about Anthony which focused on Barron and Veila, who lived with Barron on-and-off after 2014. NBC News, "Death of Anthony Avalos has parallels to another child abuse case in L.A.," 8 July 2018 County child welfare officials received a dozen referrals of suspected child abuse about the boy from 2013 until 2016, officials have said. Elizabeth Zwirz, Fox News, "California mother, boyfriend face 'murder and torture' charge in 10-year-old boy's death, officials say," 30 June 2018 Each year, child protection agencies receive more than 3.6 million referrals involving more than 6.6 million children who may be experiencing abuse, according to the advocacy group Childhelp. Gaby Del Valle, Teen Vogue, "How Child Abuse Affects the Brain," 22 June 2018 The mobile works with one.n.ten to provide exams, immunizations, referrals and more. Lauren Castle, azcentral, "Arizona groups offer health, housing help to LGBT youth," 14 July 2018 Mondays through Thursdays, Compassion Corner offers coffee, Bible study, counseling, social-service referrals and a place to get out of harsh weather. Kate Santich,, "Downtown Orlando needs full-time drop-in center for homeless, leaders say," 13 July 2018 If not, contact the psychological association in your state about a referral to a therapist who specializes in patients with adult attention deficit disorder. Houston Chronicle, "Hard-working college student strives to be more organized," 13 July 2018 Registration and a physician’s referral are required prior to class. Staff Report, Post-Tribune, "Community news," 11 July 2018 No complaints or referrals had been filed as of Wednesday afternoon, a commission spokesman told Politics Extra. Jason Williams,, "PX column: Time's up for Jeff Pastor's campaign finance report. Is an investigation coming?," 11 July 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 2018

Look-up Popularity

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 \

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 \

Legal Definition of referral 

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

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Comments on referral

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to make amends

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