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refer

[ri-fur] /rɪˈfɜr/
verb (used with object), referred, referring.
1.
to direct for information or anything required:
He referred me to books on astrology.
2.
to direct the attention or thoughts of:
The asterisk refers the reader to a footnote.
3.
to hand over or submit for information, consideration, decision, etc.:
to refer the argument to arbitration.
4.
to assign to a class, period, etc.; regard as belonging or related.
5.
to have relation; relate; apply.
verb (used without object), referred, referring.
6.
to direct attention, as a reference mark does.
7.
to have recourse or resort; turn, as for aid or information:
to refer to one's notes.
8.
to make reference or allusion:
The author referred to his teachers twice in his article.
Origin of refer
1325-1375
1325-75; Middle English referren < Latin referre to bring back, equivalent to re- re- + ferre to bring, bear1
Related forms
referable, referrable, referrible
[ref-er-uh-buh l, ri-fur-] /ˈrɛf ər ə bəl, rɪˈfɜr-/ (Show IPA),
adjective
referrer, noun
misrefer, verb, misreferred, misreferring.
prerefer, verb (used with object), prereferred, prereferring.
unreferred, adjective
well-referred, adjective
Synonyms
4. attribute, ascribe, impute. 5. pertain, belong. 8. advert, allude.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for refer
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • If you sit beside the beggar who perished at your gates, what will you say to him if he should refer to matters such as these?

    Drolls From Shadowland J. H. Pearce
  • I refer, of course, to man's mastery over the latent forces of Nature.

    'Tis Sixty Years Since Charles Francis Adams
  • But right here our rock-descriptive powers give out—we can only refer to the map.

    Unexplored Spain Abel Chapman
  • At the end of it, he asked, "Did you--you must excuse me--refer to me at all?"

    Questionable Shapes William Dean Howells
  • These refer to the subject of the sentence or clause in which they stand; like myself, yourself, in 'I see myself,' etc.

    New Latin Grammar Charles E. Bennett
British Dictionary definitions for refer

refer

/rɪˈfɜː/
verb (often foll by to) -fers, -ferring, -ferred
1.
(intransitive) to make mention (of)
2.
(transitive) to direct the attention of (someone) for information, facts, etc: the reader is referred to Chomsky, 1965
3.
(intransitive) to seek information (from): I referred to a dictionary of English usage, he referred to his notes
4.
(intransitive) to be relevant (to); pertain or relate (to): this song refers to an incident in the Civil War
5.
(transitive) to assign or attribute: Cromwell referred his victories to God
6.
(transitive) to hand over for consideration, reconsideration, or decision: to refer a complaint to another department
7.
(transitive) to hand back to the originator as unacceptable or unusable
8.
(transitive) (Brit) to fail (a student) in an examination
9.
(transitive) (Brit) to send back (a thesis) to a student for improvement
10.
refer to drawer, a request by a bank that the payee consult the drawer concerning a cheque payable by that bank (usually because the drawer has insufficient funds in his account), payment being suspended in the meantime
11.
(transitive) to direct (a patient) for treatment to another doctor, usually a specialist
12.
(transitive) (social welfare) to direct (a client) to another agency or professional for a service
Derived Forms
referable (ˈrɛfərəbəl), referrable (rɪˈfɜːrəbəl) adjective
referral, noun
referrer, noun
Usage note
The common practice of adding back to refer is tautologous, since this meaning is already contained in the re- of refer: this refers to (not back to) what has already been said. However, when refer is used in the sense of passing a document or question for further consideration to the person from whom it was received, it may be appropriate to say he referred the matter back
Word Origin
C14: from Latin referre to carry back, from re- + ferre to bear1
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for refer
v.

late 14c., "to trace back (to a first cause), attribute, assign," from Old French referer (14c.) and directly from Latin referre "to relate, refer," literally "to carry back," from re- "back" (see re-) + ferre "carry" (see infer). Meaning "to commit to some authority for a decision" is from mid-15c.; sense of "to direct (someone) to a book, etc." is from c.1600. Related: Referred; referring.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for refer

reefer 3

noun

A front-page paragraph referring to a story on an inside page: The Times ran a reefer with the new term for ''change of mind'' subtly noted/ The Timeses of New York or LA could produce front pages of refers, meaning concise summaries that resemble the tops of articles (1990s+ Newspaper office)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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