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English definition of “reference”

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reference

noun uk   /ˈref.ər.əns/ us    /-ɚ-/

reference noun (MENTION)

B2 [C or U] a mention of something: Knowing what had happened, I avoided making any reference to (= mentioning) weddings. formal I am writing with/in reference to (= in connection with) your letter of 15 March.
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reference noun (IN A PIECE OF WRITING)

B2 [C] a writer or a book, article, etc. that is mentioned in a piece of writing, showing you where the person writing found their information [C] ( abbreviation ref) in a business letter, a number that tells you who to speak to or where to look for more information: In all future letters on this subject, please use/quote our reference JW/155/C.
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  • You need to make a list of all your references.
  • There was a long list of references at the end of the article.
  • Where are your references?

reference noun (LETTER)

B2 [C] a letter that is written by someone who knows you, to describe you and say if you are suitable for a job, course, etc.: My old headteacher said he would write/give me a glowing (= very good) reference.
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reference noun (LOOK AT)

C1 [U] a quick look at a book, piece of paper, etc. in order to find information and help: He made the whole speech without reference to the notes in front of him.
(Definition of reference from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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