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

Statistics are difficult to come by due deficient identification guidelines and a lack of referral procedures in Iraq. Arwa Damon, CNN, "They escaped ISIS. Then they got sucked into Baghdad's sex trafficking underworld," 3 July 2019 If the organization did not cease its referral services over the next five years, it would be forced to pay the remaining balance of $3.5 million. Nico Lang, NBC News, "Conversion therapy provider must dissolve, pay millions, judge rules," 13 June 2019 In an effort to do transparent outreach, as advised by Mendoza, Pillars now publically runs a treatment center referral hotline for the group. Cat Ferguson, The Verge, "Predatory behavior runs rampant in Facebook’s addiction support groups," 21 May 2018 Additionally, the Women’s March website states the National Juvenile Defender Center will be staffing a legal referral hotline to connect students and/or their parents to local attorneys. Elaine Aradillas,, "PEOPLE Explains: What Parents Should Know About Wednesday's National School Walkout Against Gun Violence," 14 Mar. 2018 The task force has made several criminal referrals to unspecified law enforcement agencies, and a state grand jury is looking into the program, which is administered by the state Economic Development Authority. Jeff Pillets, ProPublica, "More Instances of Fraud and Mismanagement Over New Jersey Tax Incentives Surface in New Report," 18 June 2019 All of those providers are represented in Maven’s network, work together digitally and provide referrals to one another. Kate Ryder, Time, "The Boss: How Kate Ryder Started a Healthcare App Designed for Women," 18 Apr. 2018 Zinke said Monday he was not notified of the referral and described communications between federal prosecutors and the inspector general’s office as happening routinely. Matthew Brown, The Seattle Times, "Zinke ‘100 percent confident’ he’ll be cleared in probes," 12 Nov. 2018 Wall Street analysts have credited its use of referrals by veterinarians for strong patient growth. Charley Grant, WSJ, "High-Flying Pet Insurer Faces New Risk," 31 Oct. 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

9 Jul 2019

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 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

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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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