Origin of ref
First recorded in 1895–1900; by shortening
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for ref
Get ready to bid farewell to the spitfire Bobby Bottleservice and big booty player Ref Jeff.The Zany Shades of Nick Kroll
December 15, 2014
The home team eked out a win in the World Cup opening match, with a little help from the Japanese ref.
Down Fred went and the ref blew his whistle, piercing Croatian hearts as he pointed to the penalty spot.
There is, perhaps, a natural tendency to blame the ref when things don't go well.The GOP's Candy Strategy
October 17, 2012
Williams, enraged by the call, spewed a few nasty comments at the ref.Metta World Peace, David Beckham, and More Flagrant Fouls in Sports
April 24, 2012
My inexperience became only too apparent when I told the men that I had "just beat the Ref."My Life
Ref hasn't changed any more than my interest in writing these books for you.Little Tony of Italy
But there's a difference, and here's where you ref'ree, judge.Stover at Yale
The ref shakes his head no, and that seems to satisfy the Martian.Hoiman and the Solar Circuit
The ref hadn't seen Charles foul me, but he'd seen Charles's play that weekend.Little Brother
- informal short for referee
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Word Origin and History for ref
1899 (n.), 1929 (v.); short for referee. Related: Reffed; reffing.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper