- 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
Examples from the Web for reference
He then provides some insight into his psyche - complete with Animal House reference.Huckabee 2016: Bend Over and Take It Like a Prisoner!
January 8, 2015
There is reference after reference to the “black community,” “black worth ethic,” and adherence to the “black value system.”Reverend Jeremiah Wright Was Worse Than Scalise
January 2, 2015
On his Instagram account (which has since been taken down), Brinsley made one reference to burning an American flag.Alleged Cop Killer Ismaaiyl Brinsley Had a Death Wish
December 22, 2014
Now the hackers, with their reference to the 9/11 attacks, suggest they are prepared to kill.Kim Jong Un’s Kid Gloves Are Now Off
Gordon G. Chang
December 17, 2014
This would, of course, require some moderation of regulatory standards, particularly in reference to climate change.Legal but Still Poor: The Economic Consequences of Amnesty
November 21, 2014
A moment later Percival remembered his last words, also his reference to Blythe.The Spenders
Harry Leon Wilson
There is a reference to “pen and ink” in the 3d Epistle of John xiii.The Story of the Invention of Steel Pens
Neither made any reference to the little scene of the night before.Viviette
William J. Locke
Let me illustrate this broad statement with reference to the subject of fears alone.The Conquest of Fear
I was rather at a loss for names of reference to these parts.
- 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 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.