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The following statistics are based on the British National Corpus, so they are representative for the British English.

Distribution of usage frequency for the most common synonyms of the noun reference:


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

Video footage: Hookah accessories on the table. Smooth camera movement reference to left
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Definition of the noun reference

What does reference mean as a name of something?

Reference is one of the top 1000 most common nouns in the English language.

noun - plural: references

  1. a remark that calls attention to something or someone
    • example: the speaker made several references to his wife
    • lexical domain: Communicative Processes - nouns denoting communicative processes and contents
    • synonym of reference: mention
    • more generic words: comment / input / remark = a statement that expresses a personal opinion or belief or adds information
    • more specific words:
      • allusion = passing reference or indirect mention
      • retrospection = reference to things past
      • name-dropping = the practice of casually mentioning important people in order to impress your listener
  2. a short note recognizing a source of information or of a quoted passage
  3. an indicator that orients you generally
  4. a book to which you can refer for authoritative facts
  5. a formal recommendation by a former employer to a potential future employer describing the person's qualifications and dependability
  6. the most direct or specific meaning of a word or expression; the class of objects that an expression refers to
  7. the act of referring or consulting
    • example: reference to an encyclopedia produced the answer
    • lexical domain: Acts - nouns denoting acts or actions
    • synonym of reference: consultation
    • more generic word: action = something done
  8. a publication (or a passage from a publication) that is referred to
    • example: he carried an armful of references back to his desk
    • lexical domain: Communicative Processes - nouns denoting communicative processes and contents
    • synonym of reference: source
    • more generic word: publication = a copy of a printed work offered for distribution
  9. (computer science) the code that identifies where a piece of information is stored
  10. the relation between a word or phrase and the object or idea it refers to
    • example: he argued that reference is a consequence of conditioned reflexes
    • lexical domain: Cognitive Processes - nouns denoting cognitive processes and contents
    • more generic words: meaning / substance = the idea that is intended

Alternative definition of the noun reference


  1. A measurement one can compare to.
  2. Information about a person, provided by someone (a referee) with whom they are well acquainted
  3. A reference work.
  4. [semantics] A relation between objects in which one object designates, or acts as a means by which to connect to or link to, another object.
  5. [context: academic writing] A short written identification of a previously published work which is used as a source for a text.
  6. [context: academic writing] A previously published written work thus indicated; a source.
  7. [programming] An object containing information which refers to data stored elsewhere, as opposed to containing the data itself.

Definition of the verb reference

What does reference mean as a doing word?

verb - inflections: referenced | referencing | references

  1. refer to

Alternative definition of the verb reference


  1. to refer to, to make reference to, to cite
  2. to mention


"Reference" is a 1985 Bulgarian drama film directed by Christo Christov. It was entered into the 14th Moscow International Film Festival.

  • also known as Harakteristika
  • country: Bulgaria
  • genre: Drama
  • released in (30 years ago)


  1. "Reference" is a musical album of CiM.
    • released on (15 years ago)
  2. "Reference" is an album by Bélo.
    • released in (7 years ago)
  3. "Reference" is a musical album of Tabou Combo.
  4. "Reference" is a musical album of Piotr Baron.
    • released in (11 years ago)
  5. "Reference" is a musical single of Ophibre.
    • released on (8 years ago)
  6. "Reference" a.k.a. "reference:" is a musical album of Twine.
    • released in (16 years ago)
  7. "Reference" is a musical album of Shane Bartell.


Reference is a record label.


  1. Reference is a relation between objects in which one object designates, or acts as a means by which to connect to or link to, another object. The first object in this relation is said to refer to the second object. The second object – the one to which the first object refers – is called the referent of the first object.
  2. Reference a.k.a. Citation: Broadly, a citation is a reference to a published or unpublished source.
  3. Reference: In computer science, a reference is a value that enables a program to indirectly access a particular datum, such as a variable or a record, in the computer's memory or in some other storage device. The reference is said to refer to the datum, and accessing the datum is called dereferencing the reference.
    • also known as 參照
  4. Reference: In the C++ programming language, a reference is a simple reference datatype that is less powerful but safer than the pointer type inherited from C. The name C++ reference may cause confusion, as in computer science a reference is a general concept datatype, with pointers and C++ references being specific reference datatype implementations. The definition of a reference in C++ is such that it does not need to exist. It can be implemented as a new name for an existing object.

Phrases with Reference

Phrases starting with the word Reference:

  1. reference book
  2. Reference data
  3. reference grid
  4. Reference List
  5. reference work
  6. reference frame
  7. reference point
  8. reference manual
  9. reference system
  10. Reference Variable
  11. Reference electrode

Phrases ending with the word Reference:

  1. to reference
  2. Grid Reference
  3. Self-reference
  4. cross-reference
  5. Credit reference
  6. date of reference
  7. frame of reference
  8. point of reference
  9. character reference

View more phrases with the word Reference in thesaurus!

Printed dictionaries and other books with definitions for Reference

Click on a title to look inside that book (if available):

Google previewSemantics, Metasemantics, Aboutness (2017)

by Ori Simchen

But in Sider's hands they can at most provide more grist for the interpretationist mill: A metasemantics is a metaphysical proposal about the nature of the reference relation; schematically: “reference is a relation of suchandsuch a type.” Millikan ...

Google previewThe Internal Auditing Handbook (2010)

by K. H. Spencer Pickett

The only useful reference is a questionnaire thatissent direct to a colleague of the applicant's current or last employer. b. The only useful reference is a questionnaire that is sent direct to a named person nominated by the applicant. c. The only ...

Google previewIvor Horton's Beginning Visual C++ 2010 (2010)

by Ivor Horton

Essentially, a reference is a name that can be used as an alias for something else. An lvalue reference is an alias for another variable; it is called an lvalue reference because it refers to a persistent storage location that can appear on the left of ...

Google previewSpeculative Grace (2013)

Bruno Latour and Object-Oriented Theology by Adam S. Miller

Reference is the business of neighbors borrowing from and lending to neighbors. It is a name for that general economy...

Google previewAttacking Extreme Poverty (2001)

Learning from the Experience of the International Movement ATD Fourth World by Quentin Wodon

The first reference is that of a lack of one or several basic securities which may have a cumulative impact and lead to an insecurity affecting new dimensions in a poor person's life. The second reference is that of time: poverty is associated with ...

Google previewAphasia and Related Neurogenic Communication Disorders (2012)

by Department of Speech & Language Therapy Technological Educational Institute Patras Greece Ilias Papathanasiou, Ilias Papathanasiou, Patrick Coppens, Professor Department of Communication Disorders and Sciences Suny Plattsburgh Plattsburgh New York Patrick Coppens, Constantin Potagas

Stimulus-centered: Reference is an object itself (including a word), regardless of where it is in viewer space. Ventral stream, including posterior inferior temporal region.* • Object-centered: Reference is the usual mental representation of an ...

Google previewNutrition and Diet Therapy Reference Dictionary (2012)

by Rosalinda T. Lagua, Virginia S. Claudio

Reference daily intake (RDI). The standard value ...

Google previewSeinfeld Reference: The Complete Encyclopedia with Biographies, Character Profiles & Episode Summaries

com: Toasting Cheers: An Episode Guide to the 1982-1993 Series Cheers TV Show: A Comprehensive Reference Cheers Trivia: It's A Little Known Fact... Seinfeld ...

Google previewArmy Dictionary and Desk Reference (2010)

by Tim Zurick USAR

STACKPOLE BOOKS Military Professional Reference Library Air Force Officer's Guide Airman's Guide Armed Forces Guide to Personal Financial Planning Army Dictionary and Desk Reference Army Officer's Guide Career Progression Guide ...

Google previewGarden History Reference Encyclopedia

Historic books etc on garden design and landscape architecture by Tom Turner

(Article by Tom Turner, first published in 2003 edition of the Garden History Reference Encyclopedia) There are said to be over 2,000 publications each year on the French Revolution, presenting a challenge to the historian.

Online dictionaries and encyclopedias with entries for Reference

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Photos about Reference

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If you need related images for an article or a report, you can download stock photos:
Small photo of An open reference tables with physical and chemical properties of simple substances on the desk on the background of a shelf with booksSmall photo of An open reference tables with physical and chemical properties of simple substances on the desk on the background of a shelf with books, journals and graphicsSmall photo of Education concept -new and old books with glasses on white background .research information reference paper at library schoolSmall photo of Closeup on businessman holding a card with REFERENCE CHECKS message, business concept image with soft focus background and vintage toneSmall photo of Memo stick with words Reference checks in an office table.Small photo of Close up of girl's hand placing the last jigsaw puzzle piece with word ReferenceSmall photo of Business concept - Top view notebook writing REFERENCE More...

Video language resources about Reference

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View more videos about Grid Reference, reference book, Reference data, Reference List, Reference Point, Credit reference, Point of Reference, character reference, Reference electrode, Space Fixed Reference, and Inertial frame of reference.

See also the pronunciation examples of Reference!

Sign language

Sign Language Reference

Quotes about Reference

Our test of truth is a reference to either a present or imagined future majority in favour of our view. (Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.)
more quotes about reference...

Scrabble value of R1E1F4E1R1E1N1C3E1

The value of this 9-letter word is 14 points. It is included in the first and second editions of the Official Scrabble Players Dictionary.

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