- Refer is defined as to direct to for something needed, or to make a reference.
- An example of refer is for a woman to suggest that her friend visit a specific doctor.
- An example of refer is to include an in-text citation in a research paper.
transitive verbreferred, referring
- to assign or attribute (to) as cause or origin
- to assign, or regard or name as belonging (to a kind, class, date, etc.)
- to submit (a quarrel, question, etc.) for determination or settlement
- to send or direct (someone) to someone or something for aid, information, etc.
Origin of referMiddle English referren ; from Middle French referer ; from Classical Latin referre ; from re-, back + ferre, to bear
- to relate or apply (to); be concerned or deal
- to direct attention, or make reference or allusion (to): to refer to an earlier event
- to turn for information, aid, or authority (to): to refer to a map
verbre·ferred, re·fer·ring, re·fers
- To direct to a source for help or information: referred her to a heart specialist; referred me to his last employer for a recommendation.
- To submit (a matter in dispute) to an authority for arbitration, decision, or examination.
- To direct the attention of: I refer you to the training manual.
- a. To assign or attribute to; regard as originated by.b. To assign to or regard as belonging within a particular kind or class: referred the newly discovered partita to the 1600s. See Synonyms at attribute.
- a. To relate or pertain; concern: questions referring to yesterday's lecture.b. To serve as a descriptor or have as a denotation: The word chair refers to a piece of furniture.
- To speak or write about something briefly or incidentally; make reference: referred during our conversation to several books he was reading.
- To turn one's attention, as in seeking information: refer to a dictionary.
Origin of referMiddle English referren, from Old French referer, from Latin referre : re-, re- + ferre, to carry; see bher-1 in Indo-European roots.
(third-person singular simple present refers, present participle referring, simple past and past participle referred)
- To direct the attention of.
- The shop assistant referred me to the help desk on ground floor.
- To submit to (another person or group) for consideration; to send or direct elsewhere.
- He referred the matter to the principal.
- to refer a patient to a psychiatrist
- 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.
- He referred the phenomena to electrical disturbances.
- (intransitive, construed with to) To allude to, make a reference or allusion to.
- (grammar) to be referential to another element in a sentence