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Refer is a palindrome (it reads the same backward as forward).

It also appears in the following palindromes:

  • Vote to not slip up, refer pupils to note TOV.
  • Di, did a murder refer panic in a preferred rum ad I did?
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Refer is sometimes a misspelling of referred.

Video footage: Businessman with Refer a Friend
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Definition of the verb refer

What does refer mean as a doing word?

Refer is one of the top 1000 most common verbs in the English language.View more statistics!

verb - inflections: referred, referring

  1. make reference to
  2. be relevant to
  3. think of, regard, or classify under a subsuming principle or with a general group or in relation to another
  4. send or direct for treatment, information, or a decision
    • examples: refer a patient to a specialist | refer a bill to a committee
    • syntax:
      Syntactic formulaExample for the syntactic formula
      [Agent - being or organization] [Verb] [Theme]I donated my house (to somebody)
      [Agent - being or organization] [Verb] [Theme] to [Recipient]Brown presented a plaque to Jones | They lent a bicycle to me | We contributed our paycheck to her
      [Agent - being or organization] [Verb] to [Recipient] [Theme]He is willing to sacrifice to the arbitrage trader some small profit

      Verbs of Change of Possession (with the same syntax): gift, hand out, lose, pass out, relinquish, remit, resign, restore, shell out.

    • lexical domain: Motions - verbs of walking, flying, swimming
    • more generic words: direct / send = cause to go somewhere
    • more specific words:
      • submit = refer for judgment or consideration
      • recommit = send back to a committee
  5. seek information from
    • example: refer to your notes
    • lexical domain: Communication - verbs of telling, asking, ordering, singing
    • synonyms of refer: consult / look up
    • more generic word: research = attempt to find out in a systematically and scientific manner
  6. have as a meaning
  7. use a name to designate
    • example: Christians refer to the mother of Jesus as the Virgin Mary
    • lexical domain: Communication - verbs of telling, asking, ordering, singing
    • more generic terms: be known as / call / know as / name = assign a specified (usually proper) proper name to

Alternative definition of the verb refer


  1. [transitive] To direct the attention of.
  2. [transitive] To submit to an authority figure for consideration.
  3. [rfex] [intransitive, construed with 'to'] To allude to, make a reference or allusion to.


REFER, Rede FerroviƔria Nacional, EP is the Portuguese rail infrastructure manager. It is a state-owned company and was created to manage the Portuguese rail infrastructure, previously under control of CP, which became exclusively a train service operator.


refer is a program for managing bibliographic references, and citing them in troff documents. It is implemented as a troff preprocessor.

Printed dictionaries and other books with definitions for Refer

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Google previewSubject Headings for Use in Dictionary Catalogs of Juvenile Books (1916)

by Margaret Mann

earl of Pencils Penguins Peninsular war , 1807-14 Penn, William Refer from Actors and acting; Amusements; Drama; Plays; Puppet shows; Shadow pictures; Tableaux Refer from Manufactures; Printing; ...

Google previewDictionary of Race and Ethnic Relations (2002)

by Professor Ellis Cashmore, Professor of Culture Media and Sport Ellis Cashmore

This reflects the origin of the term in the late eighteenth century when it was used to refer, in a technical sense, to the science of ideas. It took on another meaning around the same time, one of which is still predominant in common-sense ...

Google previewA Dictionary of Stylistics (2014)

by Katie Wales

Similarly, we expect originality of thought and EXPRESSION in POETIC LANGUAGE, and the term POETIC DICTION is also sometimes used pejoratively to refer to the well-used collocations of ...

Google previewEncyclopedia of West Virginia (1999)

by Nancy Capace

The name used by the Hurons themselves to refer to the whole confederacy was Wendar. This is often interpreted to mean "people living on an island," and could refer to the fact that the Huron territory in the 17th century was almost ...

Google previewEncyclopedia of Ohio Indians (1998)

by Donald Ricky

The word itself means a "a wild boar," and may refer to the hairstyle of Huron men at the time; it was also used more generally as a name for rough or rustic people. The name used by the Hurons themselves to refer to the whole confederacy ...

Online dictionaries and encyclopedias with entries for Refer

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Usage statistics about refer

The following statistics are based on the British National Corpus, so they are representative for the British English from the later part of the 20th century, both spoken and written.

Usage statistics for the verb refer:

conversational speech5.33%task-oriented speech94.67%

Distribution of usage frequency for the most common synonyms of the verb refer:


Photos about Refer

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Small photo of Cappadocia is the ancient name of a large region in the center of Anatolia, when we speak of Cappadocia today we refer to the valleys of Goreme & Urgup, with their natural pinnacles and rock churchesSmall photo of Phrase 'through the looking glass' refers to a zone, where nothing is quite what it seems. It may refer to a search for the truth.Small photo of Japanese woman to refer to the parasolSmall photo of Landscape of Wuyuan with Yellow oilseed rape field and Blooming canola flowers in spring. It nears Huangshan Mountain. It's very quiet. People refer it to as the most beautiful village of China.Small photo of Handwriting Announcement text showing Refer A Friend. Business concept for Referral Marketing Written on tablet, wooden background with sticky note and penSmall photo of Word, writing Refer A Friend. Business concept for Referral Marketing Written on notebook book, wooden background with sticky sunglasses and red penSmall photo of Refer a Friend More...

Video language resources about Refer

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Quotes about Refer

There is a concept which corrupts and upsets all others. I refer not to Evil, whose limited realm is that of ethics; I refer to the infinite. (Jorge Luis Borges)
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Scrabble value of R1E1F4E1R1

The value of this 5-letter word is 8 points. It is included in the first and second editions of the Official Scrabble Players Dictionary.

Anagrams of REFER

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