[ref.er.ence] n (1589) 1: the act of referring or consulting
2: a bearing on a matter: relation "in ~ to your recent letter"
3: something that refers: as a: allusion, mention b: something (as a sign or indication) that refers a reader or consulter to another source of information (as a book or passage) c: consultation of sources of information
4: one referred to or consulted: as a: a person to whom inquiries as to character or ability can be made b: a statement of the qualifications of a person seeking employment or appointment given by someone familiar with the person c (1): a source of information (as a book or passage) to which a reader or consulter is referred (2): a work (as a dictionary or encyclopedia) containing useful facts or information d: denotation, meaning
reference adj (1856): used or usable for reference; esp: constituting a standard for measuring or constructing reference vt -enced ; -enc.ing (1891) 1 a: to supply with references b: to cite in or as a reference
2: to put in a form (as a table) adapted to easy reference