- an act or instance of referring.
- a mention; allusion.
- something for which a name or designation stands; denotation.
- a direction in a book or writing to some other book, passage, etc.
- a book, passage, etc., to which one is directed.
- reference mark(def 2).
- material contained in a footnote or bibliography, or referred to by a reference mark.
- use or recourse for purposes of information: a library for public reference.
- a person to whom one refers for testimony as to one's character, abilities, etc.
- a statement, usually written, as to a person's character, abilities, etc.
- relation, regard, or respect: all persons, without reference to age.
- to furnish (a book, dissertation, etc.) with references: Each new volume is thoroughly referenced.
- to arrange (notes, data, etc.) for easy reference: Statistical data is referenced in the glossary.
- to refer to: to reference a file.
Origin of reference
SynonymsSee more synonyms for reference on Thesaurus.com
- the act or an instance of referring
- something referred, esp proceedings submitted to a referee in law
- a direction of the attention to a passage elsewhere or to another book, document, etc
- a book or passage referred to
- a mention or allusionthis book contains several references to the Civil War
- the relation between a word, phrase, or symbol and the object or idea to which it refers
- the object referred to by an expressionCompare sense (def. 12)
- a source of information or facts
- (as modifier)a reference book; a reference library
- a written testimonial regarding one's character or capabilities
- a person referred to for such a testimonial
- (foll by to)relation or delimitation, esp to or by membership of a specific class or group; respect or regardall people, without reference to sex or age
- (as modifier)a reference group
- point of reference a fact forming the basis of an evaluation or assessment; criterion
- terms of reference the specific limits of responsibility that determine the activities of an investigating body, etc
- to furnish or compile a list of references for (an academic thesis, publication, etc)
- to make a reference to; refer tohe referenced Chomsky, 1956
- commerce with reference toreference your letter of the 9th inst Abbreviation: re
Word Origin and History for pre-reference
1580s, "act of referring," from refer + -ance, or else from French référence, from Medieval Latin *referentia, from Latin referentem (nominative referens), present participle of referre (see refer). Meaning "direction to a book or passage" is recorded from 1610s. Meaning "testimonial" is from 1895. Reference book dates from 1808. Phrase in reference to is attested from 1590s.
1620s, "to assign;" as "to provide with a reference," 1837 (implied in referenced), from reference (n.). Related: Referencing.