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 (rĕf′ər-ənt, rĭ-fûr′ənt)
A person or thing to which a linguistic expression refers.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


the object or idea to which a word or phrase refers. Compare sense12
[C19: from Latin referens, from referre to refer]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(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]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
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
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
For mortality, the hazard ratios were 1.00 (referent) in the first quarter (least active) and 0.48, 0.34, and 0.27 in the second, third, and fourth quarters, respectively.
In the case of metonymical units, meaning construction relates to the process of inferring the referent of the metonymical constituent.
Le ministre des Affaires religieuses et des Wakfs, Mohamed Aissa, a fait part, jeudi dernier, devant la commission de l'education, de l'enseignement superieur et des affaires religieuses de l'APN, du projet de [beaucoup moins que]mosquee[beaucoup plus grand que] virtuelle permettant le dialogue entre les imams et les citoyens sur les reseaux sociaux dans la cadre de la preservation du referent religieux national.
Analysis was performed between toner-handling and referent, toner-exposed and never toner-handling, age, height, BMI: Mann-Whitney U test, smoking status: [Chi.sup.2] test.
In social comparison theory (Festinger, 1954) it is suggested that for accurate self-assessment, an individual uses information about his or her own state compared to that of another person - that is, a referent (Kulik & Ambrose, 1992).
The "referent object" within Securitization is that which is being protected, that which is under "existential threat" and needs to be protected by the securitization move.
The referent of it in sentence 1 is the backpack; the referent of it in sentence 2 is the water bottle.
This is because he believes that only if the latter property is the referent of "better than" validity and completeness will be respected.
Age was used concurrently as both a continuous variable and categorized in three levels as 12-20 years, 21-50 years, and [greater than or equal to] 50 years (referent).
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.
'Every morning I eat one egg.' In the presentative marker stage, 'one' introduces a new and major participant into discourse (it can be said that its purpose is to indicate discourse persistence of a referent).
Martin and colleagues found evidence of self and social referent athletic identity in athletes with disabilities.