re·fer / riˈfər/ • v. (-ferred , -fer·ring ) 1. [intr.] (refer to) mention or allude to: the reports of the commission are often referred to in the media New York, referred to as the Big Apple. ∎ [tr.] (refer someone to) direct the attention of someone to: I refer my colleague to the reply that I gave some moments ago. ∎ (refer to) (of a word or phrase) describe or denote; have as a referent: the term “rhetoric” almost invariably refers to persuasion. 2. [tr.] (refer something to) pass a matter to (another body, typically one with more authority or expertise) for a decision: disagreement arose and the issue was referred back to the Executive Committee. ∎ send or direct (someone) to a medical specialist: she was referred to a clinical psychologist for counseling. ∎ [intr.] (refer to) read or otherwise use (a source of information) in order to ascertain something; consult: I always refer to a dictionary when I come across a new word. 3. [tr.] (refer something to) archaic trace or attribute something to (someone or something) as a cause or source: the God to whom he habitually referred his highest inspirations. ∎ regard something as belonging to (a certain period, place, or class). DERIVATIVES: ref·er·a·ble / ˈref(ə)rəbəl; riˈfər-/ adj. re·fer·rer n.