Meaning of “ref” in the English Dictionary

"ref" in British English

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refnoun [ C ]

uk /ref/ us /ref/

ref noun [ C ] (SPORT)

informal abbreviation for referee noun


  • The player appealed to the ref for a penalty.
  • The ref blew the whistle for full time.
  • Neither team was happy with the ref's decision.
  • The manager criticized the ref after the match.
  • He was sent off for swearing at the ref.

refverb [ I or T ]

uk /ref/ us /ref/ -ff- informal

to be the referee in a sports match:

Who reffed the match?

(Definition of “ref” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"ref" in American English

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refnoun [ C ]

us /ref/

short form ofreferee

(Definition of “ref” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"ref" in Business English

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refnoun [ C ]

also ref. uk /ref/ us

written abbreviation for reference noun :

Our ref E/S/PDH

(Definition of “ref” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)