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ref

A ref is the person who arbitrates conflicts during a sports match or game, and makes sure everyone's playing by the rules. If your team gets a bad call, blame the ref.

Ref is shorthand for referee, which until the mid-1800s meant "a person who examines patent applications." By 1856, a referee was a baseball official, and the nickname ref followed soon after. You can use this word as a noun, for the person wearing a striped shirt and running up and down the edge of the football field — or a verb, to mean "officiate at a sporting event."

Definitions of ref
  1. noun
    (sports) the chief official (as in boxing or American football) who is expected to ensure fair play
    synonyms: referee
    see moresee less
    type of:
    official
    someone who administers the rules of a game or sport
Word Family
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