Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Idioms, Encyclopedia.
1. The act of referring to something: filed away the article for future reference.
a. Significance for a specified matter; relation or relationship: Her speeches have special reference to environmental policy.
b. Meaning or denotation: The reference of the word "lion" is to a kind of wild cat.
3. A mention of an occurrence or situation: made frequent references to her promotion.
a. A note in a publication referring the reader to another passage or source.
b. The passage or source so referred to.
c. A work frequently used as a source.
d. A mark or footnote used to direct a reader elsewhere for additional information.
a. Submission of a case to a referee.
b. Legal proceedings conducted before or by a referee.
a. A person who is in a position to recommend another or to vouch for his or her fitness, as for a job.
b. A statement about a person's qualifications, character, and dependability.
tr.v. ref·er·enced, ref·er·enc·ing, ref·er·encesIdiom:
1. To supply (a text) with references: The author hadn't adequately referenced the third chapter, so the copyeditor suggested adding more citations. This article is thoroughly referenced with up-to-date sources.
a. To cite as a reference: The monograph doesn't reference any peer-reviewed articles.
b. Usage Problem To mention or allude to: The comedian's monologue referenced many Hollywood stars.
in/with reference to
In connection with; in relation to: This letter is in reference to the invoice that accompanied the package.
ref′er·en′tial (-ə-rĕn′shəl) adj.
Usage Note: Though originally a noun, reference is often used as a transitive verb meaning "to supply (a book, article, or other work) with references." People also use the verb to mean "To cite as a reference" or simply "To mention or allude to." Though some traditionalists oppose these latter two uses of reference, the usage is most widely accepted when the context involves actual citing of sources. For instance, in our 2013 survey, fully 70 percent of the Usage Panel found The paper references several articles on global warming at least somewhat acceptable, while only 37 percent accepted the sentence During the press conference, the mayor referenced the recent floods.
in a referential manner