views updated

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-/·fer·rer n.