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reference - definition and synonyms


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noun reference pronunciation in British English /ˈref(ə)rəns/
Word Forms
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  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 untidy 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.
  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
    take up a reference (=ask for information about a person you are going to employ): I don’t think I’ve got the job – they haven’t taken up my references.
  4. 4
    [countable] a number or symbol that shows someone where they can find information that they need
    Start your walk at map reference 2D.
    reference number: Please quote your customer reference number if you need to contact us.
  5. 5
    [countable] a word or phrase that comes from a book or a poem
    His writing is full of obscure literary references.
  6. 6
    [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.


a course of study which is much shorter than a university course and focuses on the skills you need for a job, especially computer-related skills

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a stupid person

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an ancient Roman system of underfloor heating, used to heat houses with hot air; from the Latin 'hypocaustum'

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