Definition of


  1. (verb, communication) make reference to
  2. (verb, stative) be relevant to
    My remark pertained to your earlier comments
  3. (verb, cognition) think of, regard, or classify under a subsuming principle or with a general group or in relation to another
  4. (verb, motion) send or direct for treatment, information, or a decision
    refer a bill to a committee
  5. (verb, communication) seek information from
    refer to your notes
  6. (verb, communication) have as a meaning
  7. (verb, communication) use a name to designate

via WordNet, Princeton University

Origin of the word Refer

  1. late 14c., "to trace back, attribute, assign," from O.Fr. referer (14c.), from L. referre "to relate, refer," lit. "to carry back," from re- "back" + 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. more

via Online Etymology Dictionary, ©2001 Douglas Harper

Note: If you're looking to improve your vocabulary right now, we highly recommend Ultimate Vocabulary Software.

Word of the Moment

Genus Scilla

sometimes placed in subfamily Hyacinthaceae