definitions
  • synonyms

refer

[ ri-fur ]
/ rɪˈfɜr /
||

verb (used with object), re·ferred, re·fer·ring.

verb (used without object), re·ferred, re·fer·ring.

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RELATED WORDS

invoke, hint, attribute, introduce, cite, indicate, assign, specify, transfer, deliver, send, submit, recommend, commit, answer, relate, involve, connect, go, apply

Nearby words

refection, refectorial, refectory, refectory table, refel, refer, referee, reference, reference book, reference electrode, reference frame

Origin of refer

1325–75; Middle English referren < Latin referre to bring back, equivalent to re- re- + ferre to bring, bear1
SYNONYMS FOR refer
Related forms
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for refers

British Dictionary definitions for refers

refer

/ (rɪˈfɜː) /

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

Derived Formsreferable (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

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

Word Origin and History for refers

refer


v.

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper