refer Definition

  • 1mention or allude to
  • 2pass a matter to (another body, typically one with more authority or expertise) for a decision
  • 3direct the attention of someone to
  • 4be about or concerned with

Using refer: Examples

Take a moment to familiarize yourself with how "refer" can be used in various situations through the following examples!

  • Example

    I referred to my notes during the presentation.

  • Example

    The case was referred to a higher court.

  • Example

    Can you refer me to a good restaurant in this area?

  • Example

    This book refers to the history of the Roman Empire.

refer Synonyms and Antonyms

Synonyms for refer

Antonyms for refer

Idioms Using refer

  • refer (someone) to the devil

    to dismiss or reject someone rudely or angrily


    After he made that rude comment, I referred him to the devil and walked away.

  • to start over or go back to the beginning of a project or plan


    After the proposal was rejected, we had to refer to the drawing board and come up with a new plan.

  • refer to (something) obliquely

    to mention or allude to something indirectly or vaguely


    He referred to the incident obliquely, without going into detail.

Phrases with refer

  • to mention or allude to something


    In his speech, he referred to the importance of education.

  • to use a particular name or title when speaking to or about someone


    She prefers to be referred to as 'doctor' rather than 'miss'.

  • to return to a previous point or topic


    Let's refer back to the first question and try to answer it again.

Origins of refer

from Latin 'referre', meaning 'to carry back'


Summary: refer in Brief

'Refer' [rɪˈfəː] is a verb that means to mention or allude to something, pass a matter to another body for a decision, direct attention to something, or be about or concerned with something. It can be used in phrases like 'refer to,' 'refer to as,' and 'refer back to.' Idioms include 'refer (someone) to the devil,' 'refer to the drawing board,' and 'refer to (something) obliquely.'

How do native speakers use this expression?