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reference Meaning, Definition & Usage

  1. noun a remark that calls attention to something or someone
    • she made frequent mention of her promotion
    • there was no mention of it
    • the speaker made several references to his wife
  2. noun a short note recognizing a source of information or of a quoted passage
    acknowledgment; mention; citation; credit; cite; quotation.
    • the student's essay failed to list several important citations
    • the acknowledgments are usually printed at the front of a book
    • the article includes mention of similar clinical cases
  3. noun an indicator that orients you generally
    point of reference; reference point.
    • it is used as a reference for comparing the heating and the electrical energy involved
  4. noun a book to which you can refer for authoritative facts
    book of facts; reference work; reference book.
    • he contributed articles to the basic reference work on that topic
  5. noun a formal recommendation by a former employer to a potential future employer describing the person's qualifications and dependability
    character reference; character.
    • requests for character references are all too often answered evasively
  6. noun the most direct or specific meaning of a word or expression; the class of objects that an expression refers to
    denotation; extension.
    • the extension of `satellite of Mars' is the set containing only Demos and Phobos
  7. noun the act of referring or consulting
    • reference to an encyclopedia produced the answer
  8. noun a publication (or a passage from a publication) that is referred to
    • he carried an armful of references back to his desk
    • he spent hours looking for the source of that quotation
  9. noun (computer science) the code that identifies where a piece of information is stored
    computer address; address.
  10. noun the relation between a word or phrase and the object or idea it refers to
    • he argued that reference is a consequence of conditioned reflexes
  11. verb refer to
    • he referenced his colleagues' work

Ref"er*ence noun
See Refer.
  1. The act of referring, or the state of being referred; as, reference to a chart for quidance.
  2. That which refers to something; a specific direction of the attention; as, a reference in a text-book.
  3. Relation; regard; respect.
    Something that hath a reference to my state. Shak.
  4. One who, or that which, is referred to. Specifically; (a) One of whom inquires can be made as to the integrity, capacity, and the like, of another. (b) A work, or a passage in a work, to which one is referred.
  5. (Law) (a) The act of submitting a matter in dispute to the judgment of one or more persons for decision. (b) (Equity) The process of sending any matter, for inquiry in a cause, to a master or other officer, in order that he may ascertain facts and report to the court.
  6. Appeal. R. "Make your full reference." Shak.

Webster 1913

"Rowling never met an adverb she didn't like."

-Stephen King on J.K Rowling's excessive use of adverbs.

Fear not the Adverb Hell!

Writing Improvement Software
Writing Improvement Software