English dictionary

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English noun: reference

1. reference (communication) a remark that calls attention to something or someone

SamplesShe made frequent mention of her promotion.
There was no mention of it.
The speaker made several references to his wife.


Broader (hypernym)comment, input, remark

Narrower (hyponym)allusion, name-dropping, retrospection

2. reference (communication) a short note recognizing a source of information or of a quoted passage

SamplesThe 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.

Synonymsacknowledgment, citation, cite, credit, mention, quotation

Broader (hypernym)annotation, notation, note

Narrower (hyponym)cross-index, cross-reference, photo credit

3. reference (communication) an indicator that orients you generally

SamplesIt is used as a reference for comparing the heating and the electrical energy involved.

Synonymspoint of reference, reference point

Broader (hypernym)indicator

Narrower (hyponym)bench mark, benchmark, buoy, landmark, lubber line, lubber's line, lubber's mark, lubber's point, mark, target, white line

4. reference (communication) a book to which you can refer for authoritative facts

SamplesHe contributed articles to the basic reference work on that topic.

Synonymsbook of facts, reference book, reference work

Broader (hypernym)book

Narrower (hyponym)annual, atlas, book of maps, cookbook, cookery book, cyclopaedia, cyclopedia, directory, enchiridion, encyclopaedia, encyclopedia, handbook, instruction book, map collection, source book, vade mecum, wordbook, yearbook, yearly

5. reference (communication) a formal recommendation by a former employer to a potential future employer describing the person's qualifications and dependability

SamplesRequests for character references are all too often answered evasively.

Synonymscharacter, character reference

Broader (hypernym)good word, recommendation, testimonial

6. reference (cognition) the most direct or specific meaning of a word or expression; the class of objects that an expression refers to

SamplesThe extension of `satellite of Mars' is the set containing only Demos and Phobos.

Synonymsdenotation, extension

Broader (hypernym)meaning, substance

7. reference (act) the act of referring or consulting

SamplesReference to an encyclopedia produced the answer.


Broader (hypernym)action

8. reference (communication) a publication (or a passage from a publication) that is referred to

SamplesHe carried an armful of references back to his desk.
He spent hours looking for the source of that quotation.


Broader (hypernym)publication

9. reference (communication) (computer science) the code that identifies where a piece of information is stored

Synonymsaddress, computer address

Broader (hypernym)code, computer code

Narrower (hyponym)argument, parameter, uniform resource locator, universal resource locator, URL

Domain categorycomputer science, computing

10. reference (cognition) the relation between a word or phrase and the object or idea it refers to

SamplesHe argued that reference is a consequence of conditioned reflexes.

Broader (hypernym)meaning, substance

English verb: reference

1. reference (creation) refer to

SamplesHe referenced his colleagues' work.

ExamplesDid he reference his major works over a short period of time?


Pattern of useSomebody ----s something.
Somebody ----s somebody

Broader (hypernym)compose, indite, pen, write

Domain categoryauthorship, composition, penning, writing

Based on WordNet 3.0 copyright © Princeton University.
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