That guy on the field in black and white stripes? He's a referee, an official in a sport like football or basketball who enforces the rules.

In sports, referees are there to make sure the rules are followed and everyone gets a fair shake. This word works as both a noun and a verb: referees referee games. Off the court, the world is full of everyday referees. A court appointed lawyer who investigates and reports on a case is a referee. And academics who evaluate each other's work are referees. In all cases, referees get to make official calls on what's OK and not OK.

Definitions of referee
  1. noun
    (sports) the chief official (as in boxing or American football) who is expected to ensure fair play
    synonyms: ref
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    type of:
    someone who administers the rules of a game or sport
  2. verb
    be a referee or umpire in a sports competition
    synonyms: umpire
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    type of:
    determine the result of (a competition)
  3. noun
    an attorney appointed by a court to investigate and report on a case
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    type of:
    attorney, lawyer
    a professional person authorized to practice law; conducts lawsuits or gives legal advice
  4. noun
    someone who reads manuscripts and judges their suitability for publication
    synonyms: reader, reviewer
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    someone who scans verse to determine the number and prosodic value of the syllables
    type of:
    anyone who expresses a reasoned judgment of something
  5. verb
    evaluate professionally a colleague's work
    synonyms: peer review
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    type of:
    critique, review
    appraise critically
Word Family

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