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

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 The state elections commission requires a citizen complaint or local board of elections referral in order for the agency to launch an investigation. Jason Williams,, "PX column: Time's up for Jeff Pastor's campaign finance report. Is an investigation coming?," 11 July 2018 In 2016-17, the most recent Student Assistance Program data available, bullying was the primary cause of 443 referrals by school officials in Pennsylvania, according to state education data. Katie Park,, "Anti-Semitic text messages and an alleged threat of school violence. Did a Chester County school district handle the situation correctly?," 15 June 2018 However, time-consuming items of business prior to Perry and Skinner's issue sent the meeting into late hours, prompting discussion of their referral to be moved to a meeting next month. Darryl Enriquez, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Should government in Waukesha be downsized?," 16 May 2018 But, in the absence of such a referral, trying to find a Realtor in an unfamiliar city can seem like a very daunting task. Houston Chronicle, "On the Move: Choosing a Realtor for the move to Houston," 8 Apr. 2018 Connecting survivors to one another, which Everytown does a great job with, along with referrals to direct services, is also important. Rachel Epstein, Marie Claire, "How the Parkland Students Helped a Columbine Survivor Find Her Voice," 19 Apr. 2019 On the advice of a neighbor, a retired crisis counselor, Wade called 211 — the number that provides information and referrals to social service agencies. Katherine Long, The Seattle Times, "A Kirkland mother’s anguished phone call brings help she never imagined," 9 Dec. 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

28 May 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

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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

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