/ ˈrefrəns; NAmE / noun , verb
MENTIONING SB / STH
[ C , U ] reference (to sb/sth) a thing you say or write that mentions sb/sth else; the act of mentioning sb/sth :
The book is full of references to growing up in India.
She made no reference to her illness but only to her future plans.
the President's passing reference to (= brief mention of) the end of the war
LOOKING FOR INFORMATION
[ U ] the act of looking at sth for information :
Keep the list of numbers near the phone for easy reference.
I wrote down the name of the hotel for future reference (= because it might be useful in the future) .
The library contains many popular works of reference (= reference books) .
ASKING FOR ADVICE
[ U ] reference (to sb/sth) ( formal ) the act of asking sb for help or advice :
The emergency nurse can treat minor injuries without reference to a doctor.
NUMBER / WORD / SYMBOL
[ C ] ( abbr. ref. ) a number, word or symbol that shows where sth is on a map, or where you can find a piece of information :
The map reference is Y4.
Please quote your reference number when making an enquiry.
FOR NEW JOB
[ C ] a letter written by sb who knows you, giving information about your character and abilities, especially to a new employer :
We will take up references after the interview.
[ C ] a person who agrees to write a reference, for you, for example when you are applying for a job
SYN referee :
My previous boss will act as a reference for me.
[ C ] a note in a book that tells you where a particular piece of information comes from :
There is a list of references at the end of each chapter.
—see also cross reference , frame of reference , terms of reference
- in / with reference to
[ vn ] ( formal ) to refer to sth; to provide a book, etc. with references :
Each chapter is referenced, citing literature up to 2004.