- 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
SynonymsSee more synonyms for refer on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for referring
“You are applying Western metrics to someone who is not using that metric against you,” referring to ISIS, Bolger said.Pentagon Doesn’t Know How Many People It’s Killed in the ISIS War
Nancy A. Youssef
January 7, 2015
“A mother has lost a son,” referring to his late cousin Akai.Protesters Demand Justice For Gurley As Gap Grows Between Cops and NYC
December 28, 2014
He was referring to web censorship behind the Great Firewall.China’s Internet Is Freer Than You Think
December 27, 2014
He was referring to the genocide of Muslims during the Bosnian War.When Countries Lose Their Shit Over American Movies
December 17, 2014
I ask Alexander Gilkes, referring to Prince William and Kate Middleton, whose wedding he attended.William, Kate, and Jay Z’s Favorite Art Star: Alexander Gilkes' World of Rock Stars and Royalty
December 10, 2014
I asked, referring to an old silver-backed watch I had seen him wear.The Underdog
F. Hopkinson Smith
And so the deputy could not refrain from referring to his own anxiety.The Three Cities Trilogy, Complete
I was referring to a bridge the inn-keeper told me about, that's all.The Boy Scouts on Belgian Battlefields
Lieut. Howard Payson
I am not referring only to large aggregations of capital but to all capital.War Taxation
Otto H. Kahn
This will be seen by referring to the drawings of the two boats.Boys' Book of Model Boats
Raymond Francis Yates
- (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 and History for referring
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.