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 (rĕf′ər-ənt, rĭ-fûr′ənt)
A person or thing to which a linguistic expression refers.


the object or idea to which a word or phrase refers. Compare sense12
[C19: from Latin referens, from referre to refer]


(ˈrɛf ər ənt, ˈrɛf rənt)

the object or event to which a term or symbol refers.
[1835–45; < Latin referent- (s. of referēns), present participle of referre. See refer, -ent]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.referent - something referred to; the object of a reference
meaning, signification, import, significance - the message that is intended or expressed or signified; "what is the meaning of this sentence"; "the significance of a red traffic light"; "the signification of Chinese characters"; "the import of his announcement was ambiguous"
antecedent - the referent of an anaphor; a phrase or clause that is referred to by an anaphoric pronoun
denotatum - an actual object referred to by a linguistic expression
designatum - something (whether existing or not) that is referred to by a linguistic expression
2.referent - the first term in a proposition; the term to which other terms relate
term - one of the substantive phrases in a logical proposition; "the major term of a syllogism must occur twice"
3.referent - something that refers; a term that refers to another term
term - a word or expression used for some particular thing; "he learned many medical terms"
Adj.1.referent - having reference; "judgments referent to the indictment"
denotative, denotive - having the power of explicitly denoting or designating or naming
References in periodicals archive ?
Batch lot 1 technical value communication device between technical supervisor, tutor and socio-professional referent 5% -
The referent of it in sentence 1 is the backpack; the referent of it in sentence 2 is the water bottle.
More than 80 years of social norms research has demonstrated the power of normative influence, defined as the process by which people look to referent others, consciously or unconsciously, as guides for how to act or think.
We would, of course, then need to give a new referent to "killing," too--such as holding a dinner party--given that the sentence, "Killing is wrong," is true.
Analyses were repeated by categorizing PFASs in quartiles using sex-specific quartile (Q1: referent, lowest; Q4: highest) cut points for men and women.
Adjustment or representativeness of each and every element in relation to a specific referent implies that no element is surplus to, or short of, what is required.
This use is typical of the presentative constructions at the beginnings of fairy tales (note that when introduced by 'one' the referent is considered as definite in subsequent discourse and, being major participant of the discourse, it is always immediately taken up in the next sentence), as in the Croatian example Bio jednom jedan kralj.
Martin and colleagues found evidence of self and social referent athletic identity in athletes with disabilities.
A further component of the semantic profile of indexicals and demonstratives is given by a rule for picking out a referent relative to a context of use.
NNA - We acknowledge Speaker Berri as a major referent, caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati stated during his summing up of the outcome of his meeting with Berri at Ein-Teeneh residence today.
Le ministre des Affaires religieuses et des Wakfs, Bouabdallah Ghlamallah, a appele, hier a Tizi Ouzou, a la preservation du rite malekite sunnite, referent cultuel preponderant au Maghreb, en vue [beaucoup moins que]d'immuniser l'unite de la nation[beaucoup plus grand que].
Lyons (1999) views the grammatical category of definiteness as the grammaticalisation of semantic and pragmatic definiteness, which has to do with whether or not a referent is familiar and therefore uniquely or inclusively identifiable to the addressee.