Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To direct to a source for help or information: referred her to a heart specialist; referred me to his last employer for a recommendation.
  • transitive v. To assign or attribute to; regard as originated by.
  • transitive v. To assign to or regard as belonging within a particular kind or class.
  • transitive v. To submit (a matter in dispute) to an authority for arbitration, decision, or examination.
  • transitive v. To direct the attention of: refer him to his duties.
  • intransitive v. To pertain; concern: questions referring to yesterday's lecture.
  • intransitive v. To make mention or reference.
  • intransitive v. To have recourse; turn: refer to a dictionary.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To direct the attention of.
  • v. To submit to (another person or group) for consideration.
  • v. To allude to, make a reference or allusion to.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To carry or send back.
  • transitive v. Hence: To send or direct away; to send or direct elsewhere, as for treatment, aid, information, decision, etc.; to make over, or pass over, to another
  • transitive v. To place in or under by a mental or rational process; to assign to, as a class, a cause, source, a motive, reason, or ground of explanation.
  • intransitive v. To have recourse; to apply; to appeal; to betake one's self.
  • intransitive v. To have relation or reference; to relate; to point.
  • intransitive v. To carry the mind or thought; to direct attention.
  • intransitive v. To direct inquiry for information or a guarantee of any kind, as in respect to one's integrity, capacity, pecuniary ability, and the like.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To bear or carry back; bring back.
  • To trace back; assign to as origin, source, etc.; impute; assign; attribute.
  • To hand over or intrust for consideration and decision; deliver over, as to another person or tribunal for treatment, information, decision, and the like: as, to refer a matter to a third person; parties to a suit refer their cause to arbitration; the court refers a cause to individuals for examination and report, or for trial and decision.
  • Reflexively, to betake one's self to; appeal.
  • To reduce or bring in relation, as to some standard.
  • To assign, as to a class, rank, historical position, or the like.
  • To defer; put off; postpone.
  • To direct for information; instruct to apply for any purpose.
  • Synonyms Ascribe, Charge, etc. See attribute.
  • To have relation; relate.
  • To have recourse; apply; appeal: as, to refer to an encyclopedia; to refer to one's notes.
  • To allude; make allusion.
  • To direct the attention; serve as a mark or sign of reference.
  • To give a reference: as, to refer to a former employer for a recommendation.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. have as a meaning
  • v. seek information from
  • v. think of, regard, or classify under a subsuming principle or with a general group or in relation to another
  • v. be relevant to
  • v. send or direct for treatment, information, or a decision
  • v. make reference to
  • v. use a name to designate

Etymologies

Middle English referren, from Old French referer, from Latin referre : re-, re- + ferre, to carry; see bher-1 in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • Otherwise we are left either with the error-theoretic conclusion that there are no moral properties or the non-cognitivist conclusion that moral vocabulary does not even purport to refer (in the sense of ˜refer™ in play when one does serious metaphysics, anyway; again, the non-cognitivist will allow that we can ˜speak with the vulgar™ here).

    Moral Non-Naturalism

  • The rules of the title refer to a collection of maxims assembled by George Washington that Tinker Grey regards as his bible.

    A Spirited Climb Into Café Society

  • Another essential book everyone interested in U.S. politics should read is Gangs of America by Ted Nace, where the gangs in the title refer to corporations throughout U.S. history.

    Cleaning the Two Party Garbage Out of the DrainTo Make Room for the Cream of the Heart

  • Some definitions of the term refer to the climate system passing a threshold between different states for example, with ice to ice-free.

    Rabett Run

  • The cabinets referred to in the title refer to collections of objects that were around in NYC in the mid 1800's.

    The Cabinet of Curiosities (2002)

  • The birds of the title refer to three story traditions-- the classical myths, Germanic folk tale and legend, and the Christian sacred story.

    Archive 2007-07-01

  • The 'Foxbats' in the title refer to the then-experimental MiGÂ-25 reconnaissance bombers that, according to the authors' reporting, flew over the secret Israeli compound in Dimona in May 1967, primarily to map out plans for the destruction of Israel's emerging nuclear facility there, which the Soviets planned to demolish under the fog of a war between the Jewish state and its Arab neighbors, a war to be launched at Soviet instigation.

    Russia's Defense Ministry confirms Soviet sorties over Dimona in 1967

  • Or does the title refer to someone else altogether?

    The Lions of Al-Rassan

  • Does the term refer to a particular guaranty of preservation in the impending Flood, or does it refer to some covenant previously made with

    Exposition of Genesis: Volume 1

  • The 260 calories listed on the label refer to each 1 cup serving, not the entire package.

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  • People often refer to 'education' as a prerequisite to enlightenment

    April 11, 2014