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 For testing sites near you, visit the Chronicle’s map of Bay Area testing sites that don’t require a doctor’s referral. Kellie Hwang, San Francisco Chronicle, "Here are 9 scenarios in which vaccinated people still need to get COVID tests," 29 Apr. 2021 Experts also urge women to advocate for a referral to a health professional who understands gender differences in ADHD and is aware of emerging research on the role of hormones in the disorder. Claire Sibonney, SELF, "How the Pandemic Is Helping Some Women Realize They Have ADHD," 7 Apr. 2021 Or call 211 or 311 for a referral to an agency that can help. Washington Post, "Hints From Heloise: Child abuse prevention month," 6 Apr. 2021 The deal approved earlier this month by the port authority's commission was on Detroit City Council's Tuesday's agenda for referral to the council’s public health and safety committee. Joe Guillen, Detroit Free Press, "State senator pushes eminent domain over selling Port of Detroit to Moroun family," 30 Mar. 2021 Most of our students can receive five free confidential counseling sessions by requesting a referral from the office of Student Care and Integrity. Kristen Griffith,, "Q&A: Anderson helps care for Carroll Community College students’ mental health," 26 Apr. 2021 Through a referral from Purdue’s medical department, West was connected to a local pain specialist in Connecticut. Zachary Siegel, The New Republic, "What Did the Sacklers Know?," 23 Apr. 2021 Ultimately my search led me to one of the best high-risk maternity practices in the city, thanks to a referral from my lupus doctor. Natasha S. Alford, Vogue, "Black, High-Risk, and Expecting. How I Advocated for Myself, and My Pandemic Pregnancy," 15 Apr. 2021 In the United Kingdom, people can obtain psychological therapy without a referral from a general practitioner. Sandee Lamotte, CNN, "Losing a long-term spouse can be deadly, studies show," 11 Apr. 2021

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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Time Traveler for referral

Time Traveler

The first known use of referral was in 1927

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Statistics for referral

Last Updated

16 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Referral.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 May. 2021.

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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

Nglish: Translation of referral for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of referral for Arabic Speakers

Comments on referral

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