If you refer to something, you consult it. To check your spelling, you refer to a dictionary. If you want to know when your spring break starts, you can refer to your class schedule.

Refer is made up of two very useful Latin roots: re- "back" and ferre "carry," and when one thing refers to another, one meaning “carries back” to the other — there’s some kind of connection. "The term “Spaghetti Western” refers to a kind of Western often filmed in Italy by Italian filmmakers, in Italian." If you have a mysterious rash, your doctor might refer you — send you — to an allergist.

Definitions of refer
  1. verb
    make reference to
    synonyms: advert, bring up, cite, mention, name
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    commend, remember
    mention as by way of greeting or to indicate friendship
    speak of the devil
    mention someone's name who just then appears
    mention favorably, as in prayer
    cite, quote
    refer to for illustration or proof
    touch on
    refer to or discuss briefly
    appeal, invoke
    cite as an authority; resort to
    refer to people that one assumes one's interlocutors admire in order to try to impress them
    bring up, raise
    put forward for consideration or discussion
    drag up, dredge up
    mention something unpleasant from the past
    refer from one entry to another, as in catalogues, books, and lists
    type of:
    have in mind, mean, think of
    intend to refer to
  2. verb
    be relevant to
    “There were lots of questions referring to her talk”
    synonyms: bear on, come to, concern, have-to doe with, pertain, relate, touch, touch on
    advert, allude, touch
    make a more or less disguised reference to
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    center, center on, concentrate on, focus on, revolve about, revolve around
    center upon
    apply, go for, hold
    be pertinent or relevant or applicable
    affect, involve, regard
    connect closely and often incriminatingly
    interest, matter to
    be of importance or consequence
    bring into intimate and incriminating connection
    fascinate, intrigue
    cause to be interested or curious
  3. verb
    have as a meaning
    synonyms: denote
    be a sign or indication of
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    convolute, pervert, sophisticate, twist, twist around
    practice sophistry; change the meaning of or be vague about in order to mislead or deceive
    euphemise, euphemize
    refer to something with a euphemism
    come back, hark back, recall, return
    go back to something earlier
    identify, name
    give the name or identifying characteristics of; refer to by name or some other identifying characteristic property
    refer (a word or name) to a person or thing
    speak disparagingly of; e.g., make a racial slur
    express, state
    indicate through a symbol, formula, etc.
    enumerate, itemise, itemize, recite
    specify individually
    list, number
    go back, recur
    return in thought or speech to something
    give the names of
    express a choice or opinion
    express one's choice or preference by vote
    type of:
    intend, mean, signify, stand for
    denote or connote
  4. verb
    think of, regard, or classify under a subsuming principle or with a general group or in relation to another
    “This plant can be referred to a known species”
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    assort, class, classify, separate, sort, sort out
    arrange or order by classes or categories
  5. verb
    use a name to designate
    “Christians refer to the mother of Jesus as the Virgin Mary”
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    type of:
    call, name
    assign a specified (usually proper) proper name to
  6. verb
    send or direct for treatment, information, or a decision
    refer a patient to a specialist”
    refer a bill to a committee”
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    subject, submit
    refer for judgment or consideration
    send back to a committee
    submit for consideration, judgment, or use
    submit (a report, etc.) to someone in authority
    pass on, relegate, submit
    refer to another person for decision or judgment
    type of:
    direct, send
    cause to go somewhere
  7. verb
    seek information from
    refer to your notes”
    synonyms: consult, look up
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    type of:
    attempt to find out in a systematically and scientific manner
Word Family

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