• IPA: /ˈɹɛf.(ə)ɹəns/
  • (obsolete) IPA: /ˈɹɛfəɹɛns/


  1. (literary or archaic) A relationship or relation (to something).
    • 1624, Democritus Junior [pseudonym; Robert Burton], “Charity, compoſed of all three kindes, Pleaſant, Profitable, Honeſt”, in The Anatomy of Melancholy: […], 2nd edition, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Printed by John Lichfield and James Short, for Henry Cripps, OCLC 54573970 ↗, partition 3, section 1, member 3, subsection 1, page 349 ↗:
      A man is beloued of a man, in that he is a man, but all theſe are farre more eminent and great, when they ſhal proceed from a ſanctified ſpirit, that hath a true touch of Religion, and a reference to God.
  2. A measurement one can compare to.
  3. Information about a person, provided by someone (a referee) with whom they are well acquainted.
  4. A person who provides this information; a referee.
  5. A reference work.
  6. (attributive) That which serves as a reference work.
    reference grammar
    Reference Dictionary of Linguistics
  7. The act of referring: a submitting for information or decision.
  8. (semantics) A relation between objects in which one object designates, or acts as a means by which to connect to or link to, another object.
  9. (academic writing) A short written identification of a previously published work which is used as a source for a text.
  10. (academic writing) A previously published written work thus indicated; a source.
  11. (computing) An object containing information which refers to data stored elsewhere, as opposed to containing the data itself.
  12. (programming, character entity) A special sequence used to represent complex characters in markup languages, such as ™ for the ™ symbol.
  13. (obsolete) Appeal.
    • c. 1606–1607, William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of Anthonie and Cleopatra”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act V, scene ii], page 365 ↗, column 1:
      Y’are falne into a Princely hand, feare nothing, / Make your full reference freely to my Lord, / Who is ſo full of Grace, that it flowes ouer / On all that neede.
Translations Translations Translations Translations Verb

reference (references, present participle referencing; past and past participle referenced)

  1. To provide a list of references for (a text).
    You must thoroughly reference your paper before submitting it.
  2. To refer to, to use as a reference.
    Reference the dictionary for word meanings.
  3. To mention, to cite.
    In his speech, the candidate obliquely referenced the past failures of his opponent.
  4. (programming) To contain the value that is a memory address of some value stored in memory.
    The given pointer will reference the actual generated data.
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