reference definition, meaning - what is reference in the British English Dictionary & Thesaurus - Cambridge Dictionaries Online

Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “reference”

See all translations

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.
More examples

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.
More examples
  • 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.
More examples

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)
What is the pronunciation of reference?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “reference” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

lateral thinking

a way of solving a problem by thinking about it in a different and original way and not using traditional or expected methods

Word of the Day

What’s All The Commotion About? (Words to describe sounds)

by Kate Woodford,
May 20, 2015
​​​ In this post we look at a range of words and phrases that we use to describe noise and the absence of noise. Starting with complete quiet, we sometimes use the noun hush to describe silence: A hush fell over the room as the bride walked in./There was a deathly hush (=complete

Read More 

plyscraper noun

May 18, 2015
a skyscraper made mainly from wood The development of engineered timber could herald a new era of eco-friendly ‘plyscrapers’. Christchurch welcomed its first multistorey timber structure this year, there are plans for Vancouver, and the talk is China could follow

Read More