refer

verb
re·​fer | \ ri-ˈfər How to pronounce refer (audio) \
referred; referring

Definition of refer

transitive verb

1a(1) : to think of, regard, or classify within a general category or group
(2) : to explain in terms of a general cause
b : to allot to a particular place, stage, or period
c : to regard as coming from or located in a specific area
2a : to send or direct for treatment, aid, information, or decision refer a patient to a specialist refer a bill back to a committee
b : to direct for testimony or guaranty as to character or ability

intransitive verb

1a : to have relation or connection : relate
b : to direct attention usually by clear and specific mention no one referred to yesterday's quarrel
2 : to have recourse : glance briefly referred frequently to his notes while speaking

Other Words from refer

referable \ ˈre-​f(ə-​)rə-​bəl How to pronounce refer (audio) , ri-​ˈfər-​ə-​ How to pronounce refer (audio) \ adjective
referrer \ ri-​ˈfər-​ər How to pronounce refer (audio) \ noun

Examples of refer in a Sentence

How can doctors refer patients for treatment without examining them first? Most of the patients we see here were referred by other doctors.
Recent Examples on the Web The aim is to divert those individuals from the criminal justice system and refer them to behavioral health services. John Laidler, BostonGlobe.com, 8 Aug. 2022 Or your doctor can refer you to a hospital or medical center that supplies Evusheld as listed on the HHS database. Lela Moore, SELF, 5 Aug. 2022 And if that isn’t enough, consider asking your doctor to refer you to a licensed mental health professional. Abigail Van Buren, oregonlive, 28 July 2022 If the problem behavior is mild, your veterinarian may refer you to a trainer who uses positive-reinforcement training techniques. Karen Garciastaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 22 July 2022 Your doctor might prescribe medication or refer you to other practitioners. Nerd Wallet, oregonlive, 4 July 2022 The professor did not refer her to any resources, the Department of Education noted. Courtney Tanner, The Salt Lake Tribune, 15 June 2022 His doctors can refer him for an assessment from a driving rehabilitation specialist. New York Times, 14 June 2022 Your family doctor should also refer you to a psychiatrist or trauma specialist, who could help to set you on a healthier path through talk therapy, holistic coping techniques, and medication. Amy Dickinson, Washington Post, 10 June 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'refer.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of refer

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a(1)

History and Etymology for refer

Middle English referren, from Anglo-French referer, referir, from Latin referre to bring back, report, refer, from re- + ferre to carry — more at bear

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Time Traveler for refer

Time Traveler

The first known use of refer was in the 14th century

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Dictionary Entries Near refer

refel

refer

referee

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Statistics for refer

Last Updated

10 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Refer.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/refer. Accessed 15 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for refer

refer

verb
re·​fer | \ ri-ˈfər How to pronounce refer (audio) \
referred; referring

Kids Definition of refer

1 : to look at for information She kept referring to her notes.
2 : to send or direct to some person or place for treatment, aid, information, or decision The patient was referred to a specialist.
3 : to call attention Jeremy wondered what had possessed him to refer to Prince Brat as his friend.— Sid Fleishman, The Whipping Boy
4 : to mention (something) in talking or writing

refer

transitive verb
re·​fer | \ ri-ˈfər How to pronounce refer (audio) \
referred; referring

Medical Definition of refer

1 : to regard as coming from or localized in a certain portion of the body or of space pain of appendicitis may be referred to any region of the abdomenEncyclopedia Americana
2 : to send or direct for diagnosis or treatment refer a patient to a specialist

refer

transitive verb
re·​fer | \ ri-ˈfər How to pronounce refer (audio) \
referred; referring

Legal Definition of refer

: to send or direct for treatment, aid, service, information, or decision referred the debtor to an attorney with expertise in bankruptcy specifically : commit sense 1c

More from Merriam-Webster on refer

Nglish: Translation of refer for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of refer for Arabic Speakers

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