- to direct for information or anything required: He referred me to books on astrology.
- to direct the attention or thoughts of: The asterisk refers the reader to a footnote.
- to hand over or submit for information, consideration, decision, etc.: to refer the argument to arbitration.
- to assign to a class, period, etc.; regard as belonging or related.
- to have relation; relate; apply.
Origin of refer
Synonyms for referSee more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
Related Words for referabledetectable, identifiable, attributable, trackable, accountable, derivative, verifiable, ascribable, referable
Examples from the Web for referable
Historical Examples of referable
We have seen that this subject matter is referable to four general heads.Modern Painters Volume II (of V)
The heat produced in both cases is referable to a common cause.Fragments of science, V. 1-2
They exist under two forms, and are referable to a double origin.A Handbook of the English Language
Robert Gordon Latham
And this is the case with phenomena, as regards that in them which is referable to mere sensation.The Critique of Pure Reason
In the majority of characters they are, however, referable to the latter.Speciation in the Kangaroo Rat, Dipodomys ordii
Henry W. Setzer
- (intr) to make mention (of)
- (tr) to direct the attention of (someone) for information, facts, etcthe reader is referred to Chomsky, 1965
- (intr) to seek information (from)I referred to a dictionary of English usage; he referred to his notes
- (intr) to be relevant (to); pertain or relate (to)this song refers to an incident in the Civil War
- (tr) to assign or attributeCromwell referred his victories to God
- (tr) to hand over for consideration, reconsideration, or decisionto refer a complaint to another department
- (tr) to hand back to the originator as unacceptable or unusable
- (tr) British to fail (a student) in an examination
- (tr) British to send back (a thesis) to a student for improvement
- refer to drawer a request by a bank that the payee consult the drawer concerning a cheque payable by that bank (usually because the drawer has insufficient funds in his account), payment being suspended in the meantime
- (tr) to direct (a patient) for treatment to another doctor, usually a specialist
- (tr) social welfare to direct (a client) to another agency or professional for a service
Word Origin for refer
Word Origin and History for referable
late 14c., "to trace back (to a first cause), attribute, assign," from Old French referer (14c.) and directly from Latin referre "to relate, refer," literally "to carry back," from re- "back" (see re-) + ferre "carry" (see infer). Meaning "to commit to some authority for a decision" is from mid-15c.; sense of "to direct (someone) to a book, etc." is from c.1600. Related: Referred; referring.