Dictionary.com

refer

[ ri-fur ]
/ rɪˈfɜr /
Save This Word!
See synonyms for: refer / referred / referring on Thesaurus.com

Definition of refer

verb (used with object), re·ferred, re·fer·ring.
verb (used without object), re·ferred, re·fer·ring.
QUIZ
WILL YOU SAIL OR STUMBLE ON THESE GRAMMAR QUESTIONS?
Smoothly step over to these common grammar mistakes that trip many people up. Good luck!
Question 1 of 7
Fill in the blank: I can’t figure out _____ gave me this gift.

Origin of refer

1325–75; Middle English referren<Latin referre to bring back, equivalent to re-re- + ferre to bring, bear1

OTHER WORDS FROM refer

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

How to use refer in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for refer

refer
/ (rɪˈfɜː) /

verb -fers, -ferring or -ferred (often foll by to)

Derived forms of refer

referable (ˈrɛfərəbəl) or referrable (rɪˈfɜːrəbəl), adjectivereferral, nounreferrer, noun

Word Origin for refer

C14: from Latin referre to carry back, from re- + ferre to bear 1

usage for refer

The common practice of adding back to refer is tautologous, since this meaning is already contained in the re- of refer: this refers to (not back to) what has already been said . However, when refer is used in the sense of passing a document or question for further consideration to the person from whom it was received, it may be appropriate to say he referred the matter back
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
FEEDBACK