reference - definition and synonyms


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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.

    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
    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
  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.

See also