n. & v.
1. the referring of a matter for decision or settlement or consideration to some authority.
2 the scope given to this authority.
3 (foll. by to) a a relation or respect or correspondence (success seems to have little reference to merit). b an allusion (made no reference to our problems). c a direction to a book etc. (or a passage in it) where information may be found. d a book or passage so cited.
4 a the act of looking up a passage etc. or looking in a book for information. b the act of referring to a person etc. for information.
5 a a written testimonial supporting an applicant for employment etc. b a person giving this.
--v.tr. provide (a book etc.) with references to authorities.
Phrases and idioms:
reference book a book intended to be consulted for information on individual matters rather than read continuously. reference library a library in which the books are for consultation not loan. with (or in) reference to regarding; as regards; about. without reference to not taking account of.