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[ri-fur-uh l]
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  1. an act of referring; the state of being referred.
  2. an instance of referring.
  3. a person recommended to someone or for something.
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Origin of referral

First recorded in 1930–35; refer + -al2
Can be confusedreference referral
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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Word Origin and History for referral


1920, "act of referring," from refer + -al (2). Especially to an expert or specialist (a sense attested from 1955). Earlier word was referment (1550s).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper