[ref-er-uhns, ref-ruhns]
an act or instance of referring.
a mention; allusion.
something for which a name or designation stands; denotation.
a direction in a book or writing to some other book, passage, etc.
a book, passage, etc., to which one is directed.
reference mark ( def 2 ).
material contained in a footnote or bibliography, or referred to by a reference mark.
use or recourse for purposes of information: a library for public reference.
a person to whom one refers for testimony as to one's character, abilities, etc.
a statement, usually written, as to a person's character, abilities, etc.
relation, regard, or respect: all persons, without reference to age.
verb (used with object), referenced, referencing.
to furnish (a book, dissertation, etc.) with references: Each new volume is thoroughly referenced.
to arrange (notes, data, etc.) for easy reference: Statistical data is referenced in the glossary.
to refer to: to reference a file.

1580–90; refer + -ence

misreference, noun
nonreference, noun
prereference, noun
subreference, noun
unreferenced, adjective

1. allusion, reference ; 2. reference, referral.

4. note, citation. 10. endorsement. 11. consideration, concern. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
reference (ˈrɛfərəns, ˈrɛfrəns)
1.  the act or an instance of referring
2.  something referred, esp proceedings submitted to a referee in law
3.  a direction of the attention to a passage elsewhere or to another book, document, etc
4.  a book or passage referred to
5.  a mention or allusion: this book contains several references to the Civil War
6.  philosophy
 a.  the relation between a word, phrase, or symbol and the object or idea to which it refers
 b.  Compare sense the object referred to by an expression
7.  a.  a source of information or facts
 b.  (as modifier): a reference book; a reference library
8.  a written testimonial regarding one's character or capabilities
9.  a person referred to for such a testimonial
10.  a.  (foll by to) relation or delimitation, esp to or by membership of a specific class or group; respect or regard: all people, without reference to sex or age
 b.  (as modifier): a reference group
11.  point of reference a fact forming the basis of an evaluation or assessment; criterion
12.  terms of reference the specific limits of responsibility that determine the activities of an investigating body, etc
13.  to furnish or compile a list of references for (an academic thesis, publication, etc)
14.  to make a reference to; refer to: he referenced Chomsky, 1956
15.  commerce re with reference to: reference your letter of the 9th inst

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

1589, "act of referring," from refer (q.v.). Meaning "direction to a book or passage" is recorded from 1612. Meaning "testimonial" is from 1895. The verb first is attested 1884. Reference book dates from 1889 (earlier book of reference, 1836). Phrase in reference to is attested
from 1594. Referential is attested from 1660.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Computing Dictionary

reference definition


The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases


see in regard (reference) to.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Example sentences
News articles, blog posts and e-mails often lack a systematic reference list
  that could be used to make a citation index.
Historical information necessarily is not current and is provided for your
  reference only.
He had created an icon-a work that registers as an emotional and cultural
  reference point in the minds of millions.
The room was impeccable without having reference to any authority that could be
  perceived as inhibiting.
Idioms & Phrases
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