ref‧er‧ence1 S3 W1
1 [uncountable and countable]
part of something you say or write in which you mention a person or thing
There is no direct reference to her own childhood in the novel.
The article made no reference to previous research on the subject.
The governor made only a passing reference to the problem of unemployment (=he mentioned it quickly).
the act of looking at something for information
for easy/quick reference
A vocabulary index is included for easy reference.
Keep their price list on file for future reference (=so that it can be looked at in the future).
The book will become a standard work of reference (=a book that people look at for information).
3 also point/frame of reference
an idea, fact, event etc that you already know, which helps you understand or make a judgment about another situation:
Lee's case will be the reference point for lawyers in tomorrow's trial.
She used her work experience as a frame of reference for her teaching.
something that you can see that helps you to know where you are when you are travelling in an area
used to say what you are writing or talking about, especially in business letters:
I am writing to you in reference to the job opening in your department.
a) BE also letter of reference
a letter containing information about you that is written by someone who knows you well, and is usually intended for a new employer:
We will need references from your former employers.
a person who provides information about your character and abilities [= referee]:
Ask your teacher to act as one of your references.
a book, article etc from which information has been obtained:
a comprehensive list of references
a number that tells you where you can find the information you want in a book, on a map etc:
a list of towns, each with a map reference