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reference - definition and synonyms

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noun     reference pronunciation in American English
Word Forms
  1. 1
    [countable/uncountable] a comment that mentions someone or something
    reference to:

    The title is apparently a reference to the singer’s brother.

    make a/no reference to:

    He politely made no reference to my messy appearance.

    passing reference (=a quick comment about someone or something):

    Her speech contained only a passing reference to tax reform.

  2. 2
    [uncountable] the process of looking at something in order to get information

    The sentences are numbered for ease of reference.

    1. a.
      [only before noun] used to describe books or places where you can find information

      the reference section of the library

  3. 3
    [countable] a statement from someone who knows you or has worked with you that gives information about you. You often need to provide a reference when you apply for a new job

    Her former employer refused to provide a reference for her.

    1. a.
      American someone who gives you a reference when you are applying for a job. The British word is referee.
  4. 4
    [countable] a word or phrase that comes from a book or a poem
  5. 5
    [countable] a writer or a piece of work that is mentioned in a piece of writing by someone else

    There was a long list of references at the end of the paper.

  6. 6
    [countable] a number or symbol that shows someone where they can find information that they need
    reference number:

    Please quote your customer reference number if you need to contact us.

    Start your walk at map reference 2D.

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