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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English


a reference library (=one that does not lend books, so that you must read them there)
▪ The reference library contains a collection of documents relating to slavery.
biblical story/text/reference
▪ the biblical story of Noah
frame of reference (=knowledge and beliefs that influence the way you think)
▪ Some comments may or may not be understood as harassment, depending on your frame of reference .
grid reference (=number referring to a point on a map)
▪ The pilots were just given a grid reference of the target.
instruction/training/reference etc manual
▪ Consult the computer manual if you have a problem.
oblique reference
▪ an oblique reference to his drinking problem
point of reference
reference book
reference library
▪ The boys make far fewer direct references to their own responses.
▪ What we are saying now, however, has direct reference to his views, as the reader will realize later.
▪ He made no direct reference to the disturbances in April against the government's economic policies.
▪ Few discussions about politics can occur without direct or indirect reference to power.
▪ However, there was no direct reference to the state of their marriage in the statement.
▪ These sayings have direct reference to the existence of scale and levels of being both in man and in the Cosmos.
▪ Sometimes the relationship may be direct but the reference deleted.
▪ In this book only occasional direct reference has been made to the results of numerical modelling.
▪ Appendix 1 lists all the statutory instruments made under the Act for easy reference.
▪ We might like to keep this leaflet with your statements for easy reference.
▪ Other, generally applicable subdivisions, are shown in a separate list for easy reference.
▪ Don't miss our handy Gardener's Year binder, designed to store your monthly cut-out-and-keep guide, for easy reference.
▪ Broken down into sections for easy replay and reference this video will guide you through every stage of your pregnancy.
▪ In doing so I will be making frequent reference to the empirical research findings of criminologists working mostly in the positivist tradition.
▪ There are frequent references in her notes to such visits.
▪ There are frequent references in his diary to air-raids, sometimes two or three in the same day.
▪ Video showing rapid and intensive change, for example, will need frequent reference frames to maintain an intelligible motion sequence.
▪ Despite frequent references in the press to the number of Party functionaries in leading posts at the Front, such criticisms persisted.
▪ One area of television where frequent reference has been made to homosexuality is in the arts programmes.
▪ Any future reference to this Product must be made by either the existing Product identifier or this new title.
▪ She lodged this idea in the back of her mind for future reference.
▪ I am simply seeking clarification of the regulations for future reference.
▪ For your future reference, the committee has decided to hold this meeting on the last Monday of April of each year.
▪ If so, please take note of it for future reference.
▪ Free food For future reference, publishers who are looking for big orders at the fair might try serving free food.
▪ Thumbnails the first ideas or sketches of a designer noted down for future reference.
▪ By using test-kits and keeping a record of the readings obtained you also build-up and invaluable data bank for future reference.
▪ It makes sense to keep such information on file for quick reference.
▪ The media, ever vulnerable to a quick reference that seems remotely objective, loves to publicize the latest ratings game.
▪ Windows Radio Toolbar, which puts a host of Net radio stations on your toolbar for quick reference.
▪ A list of macro names and the text that they include can be used for quick reference.
▪ The entering of symbols, with the help of a quick reference card, poses few problems.
▪ The sound programmers quick reference is an essential addition to your technical library.
▪ To provide quick reference for the file designer the data in Table 6.5 has been plotted in Fig. 6.11.
▪ There are marginal comments and addresses for quick reference.
▪ A small collection of reference books is a most valuable asset on any farm.
▪ In the meantime, publishers continue to publish, between two covers, all sorts of reference books.
▪ There is no E. Serafin in the reference books.
▪ According to his reference books, over 11, 000 were delivered to the armed forces by 1949.
▪ Make yourself a present of Silences and keep it by you as a reference book.
▪ Perhaps if the rest of the writing had had the same approach we would have a worthy materials reference book.
▪ And they are useful reference books.
▪ Car park is 1/4 mile up, on left. Grid reference 229889.
▪ Look out for the grid reference which appears in each accommodation entry.
▪ The Ordnance Survey grid references relate to the maps, with the grid lines 1 kilometre apart.
▪ Adobe have worked with Pantone to provide over 700 colour shades and combinations that are provided in a reference library on disk.
▪ Beyond this, the local studies collection in the public reference library will be a source of essential information.
▪ Attention has also been paid to the importance of collections maintained in museums, reference libraries, universities, and by corporations.
▪ Public reference libraries keep information on the larger companies.
▪ Go to the reference library and look up the electoral register for the last ten years or so.
▪ Use of extensive lending and reference library, provision of reading lists, etc.
▪ There will also be a reference library of gas-related books.
▪ She said that this pioneering reference library was good for democracy and good for citizenship.
▪ He says that if the ambulancemen had a map reference they might have found him sooner.
▪ Anywhere in the country can be given a map reference.
▪ Finally, users of reference materials described will enjoy learning about the reference material's analytical history.
▪ Your reference materials should be sorted out and grouped together around each subheading within the proposal outline.
▪ Finally, users of reference materials described will enjoy learning about the reference material's analytical history.
▪ They became permanent and readily accessible reference material in the painters' studios.
▪ Excellent source of reference material on a large range of topics, with good quality graphics and sound.
▪ These illustrations then acted as reference material for large oil paintings which were shown in galleries.
▪ A single, but important, article discussing the quality systems needed for production of reference materials represents quality assurance.
▪ Research papers from Daresbury have not been quoted by other physicists as important reference material.
▪ National grid field reference numbers must be used and areas stated in hectares, not in acres.
▪ When we take your details, your complaint will get a unique reference number.
▪ Parts lists including description reference numbers and sometimes drawings are necessary if the user is expected to deal with his own replacements.
▪ Please always quote the reference number shown on your confirmation account, and the departure date.
▪ A reference number given to every published work.
▪ Simply supply a sample of the colour or BS/RAL reference number and we do the rest.
▪ The Changes Log is described at Section 6 assign a change reference number to the change request.
▪ For this purpose, a company may be identified by stating its tax district and reference number or its company registration number.
▪ This was done by using the pylorus and the anatomical antrum-corpus boundary as reference points.
▪ It is equally correct and sometimes more useful to view demand from the reference point of quantity.
▪ Both PageMaker and Ventura select arbitrary reference points for their on-screen rulers, the top left-hand corner of the page.
▪ They establish reference points and reference lines.
▪ But he remained a constant reference point among those concerned about the course the nation was taking.
▪ This team has a reference point.
▪ Align to line up typeset or other graphic material as specified, using a base or vertical line as the reference point.
▪ Without precise reference points and instruments, I could not time the moonrise to the exact minute.
a glancing reference/mention
for future reference
▪ Microfilm copies will be kept for future reference.
▪ Also labels the components on your drawing as per your circuit diagram and retain for future reference.
▪ By using test-kits and keeping a record of the readings obtained you also build-up and invaluable data bank for future reference.
▪ Commodore G. Paul, plans of the drainage under the green had been made for future reference.
▪ I am simply seeking clarification of the regulations for future reference.
▪ If so, please take note of it for future reference.
▪ She lodged this idea in the back of her mind for future reference.
▪ This visit is only to get a look inside, to stake out the room for future reference.
▪ Thumbnails the first ideas or sketches of a designer noted down for future reference.
terms of reference
▪ Both sides have to agree on the terms of reference before there can be a trade deal.
▪ Although it has no formal terms of reference, its discussions principally concern grants and expenditure levels.
▪ As a result, the terms of reference will be sold beginning at an undetermined date no later than April 1.
▪ By the end of the seventeenth century, in Newton's science, the terms of reference had changed.
▪ Even within its own terms of reference, the positivist approach has problems.
▪ The terms of reference for the phone concessions were to go on sale Monday.
▪ The matter will be governed by the terms of reference and the procedure established, together with any code of conduct adopted.
▪ Those terms of reference seem to suit the Secretary of State down to the ground.
▪ Thus, terms of reference for the study will be established, and the scope and extent of the investigation defined.
▪ a list of references at the end of the article
▪ Ask a teacher to act as one of your references.
▪ Did he make any reference to his forthcoming trial?
▪ For the adoption, the Millers provided references and numerous other documents.
▪ map reference SG49
▪ One shelf was filled with reference works.
▪ The poem contains references to places where the poet spent his childhood.
▪ The Queen made no reference to the incident in her speech.
▪ Also labels the components on your drawing as per your circuit diagram and retain for future reference.
▪ But these fragments of stories about these characters really are references for me.
▪ David Whitehouse has enough letters of character reference to paper Bermondsey warehouse and he seems anxious to read all of them.
▪ It is equally correct and more useful in some instances to view supply from the reference point of quantity.
▪ Sub-Committee E has wider terms of reference than the other sub-committees.
▪ The thesaurus functions not only as a retrieval aid, but also as a reference facility.
▪ We choose our frame of reference and attack something for not fitting it.
▪ Where, for example, is there even a passing reference to the benefits of fair trade?
▪ Programs typically reference the same limited areas of storage for relatively long periods of time.

Reference (C++)

In the C++ programming language, a reference is a simple reference datatype that is less powerful but safer than the pointer type inherited from C. The name C++ reference may cause confusion, as in computer science a reference is a general concept datatype, with pointers and C++ references being specific reference datatype implementations. The definition of a reference in C++ is such that it does not need to exist. It can be implemented as a new name for an existing object (similar to rename keyword in Ada).

Reference (programming)

Reference (film)

Reference (, translit. Kharakteristika) is a 1985 Bulgarian drama film directed by Christo Christov. It was entered into the 14th Moscow International Film Festival.

Reference (computer science)

In computer science, a reference is a value that enables a program to indirectly access a particular datum, such as a variable or a record, in the computer's memory or in some other storage device. The reference is said to refer to the datum, and accessing the datum is called dereferencing the reference.

A reference is distinct from the data itself. Typically, for references to data stored in memory on a given system, a reference is implemented as the physical address of where the data is stored in memory or in the storage device. For this reason, a reference is often erroneously confused with a pointer or address, and is said to "point to" the data. However a reference may also be implemented in other ways, such as the offset (difference) between the datum's address and some fixed "base" address, as an index into an array, or more abstractly as a handle. More broadly, in networking, references may be network addresses, such as URLs.

The concept of reference must not be confused with other values ( keys or identifiers) that uniquely identify the data item, but give access to it only through a non-trivial lookup operation in some table data structure.

References are widely used in programming, especially to efficiently pass large or mutable data as arguments to procedures, or to share such data among various uses. In particular, a reference may point to a variable or record that contains references to other data. This idea is the basis of indirect addressing and of many linked data structures, such as linked lists. References can cause significant complexity in a program, partially due to the possibility of dangling and wild references and partially because the topology of data with references is a directed graph, whose analysis can be quite complicated.


Reference is a relation between objects in which one object designates, or acts as a means by which to connect to or link to, another object. The first object in this relation is said to refer to the second object. The second object, the one to which the first object refers, is called the referent of the first object.

References can take on many forms, including: a thought, a sensory perception that is audible ( onomatopoeia), visual (text), olfactory, or tactile, emotional state, relationship with other, spacetime coordinate, symbolic or alpha-numeric, a physical object or an energy projection. In some cases, methods are used that intentionally hide the reference from some observers, as in cryptography.

References feature in many spheres of human activity and knowledge, and the term adopts shades of meaning particular to the contexts in which it is used. Some of them are described in the sections below.

Reference (disambiguation)

A reference is a relationship in which one object designates or links to another.

Reference or reference point may also refer to:

  • Reference or citation, a link to a source of information
  • Reference (computer science)
    • Reference (C++)
  • A reference or recommendation letter for a job, university place, etc.
  • Reference work, a dictionary, encyclopedia, etc.
  • Reference desk, in a library
    • Digital reference (also virtual reference)
  • Reference (film), a 1985 Bulgarian film
  •, an online reference source
  • Reference design, in engineering
  • Reference question, a concept in Canadian public law
  • Reference or Bedeutung, Frege's term for that which an expression designates
  • A point, frame, range, etc. of reference, see Reference point (disambiguation)


  1. n. a remark that calls attention to something or someone; "she made frequent mention of her promotion"; "there was no mention of it"; "the speaker made several references to his wife" [syn: mention]

  2. a short note recognizing a source of information or of a quoted passage; "the student's essay failed to list several important citations"; "the acknowledgments are usually printed at the front of a book"; "the article includes mention of similar clinical cases" [syn: citation, acknowledgment, credit, mention, quotation]

  3. an indicator that orients you generally; "it is used as a reference for comparing the heating and the electrical energy involved" [syn: reference point, point of reference]

  4. a book to which you can refer for authoritative facts; "he contributed articles to the basic reference work on that topic" [syn: reference book, reference work, book of facts]

  5. a formal recommendation by a former employer to a potential future employer describing the person's qualifications and dependability; "requests for character references are all to often answered evasively" [syn: character, character reference]

  6. the most direct or specific meaning of a word or expression; the class of objects that an expression refers to; "the extension of `satellite of Mars' is the set containing only Demos and Phobos" [syn: denotation, extension]

  7. the act of referring or consulting; "reference to an encyclopedia produced the answer" [syn: consultation]

  8. a publication (or a passage from a publication) that is referred to; "he carried an armful of references back to his desk"; "he spent hours looking for the source of that quotation" [syn: source]

  9. the relation between a word or phrase and the object or idea it refers to; "he argued that reference is a consequence of conditioned reflexes"


v. refer to; "he referenced his colleagues' work" [syn: cite]



n. 1 A relationship or relation ((term: to) something). 2 A measurement one can compare to. 3 information about a person, provided by someone (a referee) with whom they are well acquainted 4 A reference work. 5 (context semantics English) A relation between objects in which one object designates, or acts as a means by which to connect to or link to, another object. 6 (context academic writing English) A short written identification of a previously published work which is used as a source for a text. 7 (context academic writing English) A previously published written work thus indicated; a source. 8 (context programming English) An object containing information which refers to data stored elsewhere, as opposed to containing the data itself. 9 (context programming character entity English) A special sequence used to represent complex characters in a web page such as ™ or €. 10 (context obsolete English) appeal vb. 1 to refer to, to make reference to, to cite 2 to mention

The Collaborative International Dictionary


Reference \Ref"er*ence\ (r?f"?r-ens), n. [See Refer.]

  1. The act of referring, or the state of being referred; as, reference to a chart for guidance.

  2. That which refers to something; a specific direction of the attention; as, a reference in a text-book.

  3. Relation; regard; respect.

    Something that hath a reference to my state.

  4. One who, or that which, is referred to. Specifically;

    1. One of whom inquires can be made as to the integrity, capacity, and the like, of another.

    2. A work, or a passage in a work, to which one is referred.

  5. (Law)

    1. The act of submitting a matter in dispute to the judgment of one or more persons for decision.

    2. (Equity) The process of sending any matter, for inquiry in a cause, to a master or other officer, in order that he may ascertain facts and report to the court.

  6. Appeal. [R.] ``Make your full reference.''

    Reference Bible, a Bible in which brief explanations, and references to parallel passages, are printed in the margin of the text.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary


1580s, "act of referring," from refer + -ance, or else from French référence, from Medieval Latin *referentia, from Latin referentem (nominative referens), present participle of referre (see refer). Meaning "direction to a book or passage" is recorded from 1610s. Meaning "testimonial" is from 1895. Reference book dates from 1808. Phrase in reference to is attested from 1590s.


1620s, "to assign;" as "to provide with a reference," 1837 (implied in referenced), from reference (n.). Related: Referencing.

Usage examples of "reference".

And, again, there is no reference to aborting a fetus, which was a known practice at the time.

Into it he had crammed a chair and minuscule table, desk-model accessor, and the accumulated reference materials and data of years of research.

Already a bit bewildered by their flurry of Classical references and Latin maxims, he was lost when Acer and George exchanged a few lines in French, watching out of the corner of their eyes to see if he had understood.

The reason is that the yellow pages are the prime reference for re- 4 actionary shopping.

Most of the crew suffered from some degree of nausea while adapting to microgravity, and those especially affected, such as AH Tillman and Alex Dyachkov, are still prone to attacks if they spin around too quickly, or if they find themselves without an absolute reference point.

Upon this subject, then, I will only say, that the present state of the law shall be carefully examined, and the propriety of adopting any proceedings with reference to the recent assumption of power deliberately considered.

Many years ago, advertisers were encouraged to reference their yellow page listings.

It has been stated often enough, but I will reiterate: Referencing your yellow page listing in other media advertising, such as newspaper or radio, is a terrible idea.

I will add with reference to myself, that these transactions show that, so far from being actuated by those motives of personal aggrandizement, with which I have been charged by persons of high station in another place, my object was, that others should occupy a post of honour, and that for myself I was willing to serve in any capacity, or without any official capacity, so as to enable the crown to carry on the government.

Blade filed the name of Thunor away for future reference, conceding that when in the land of Alb it might be as well to do as the Albians did, always within reason, of course.

Perhaps it was with some unconscious dread of this tedium that he made a sudden suggestion to Sir Alured in reference to Dresden.

Sir Henry Ancred, asks me to write to you in reference to a portrait of himself in the character of Macbeth, for which he would be pleased to engage your services.

Our people can use commercial software to do stand alone jobs or pull down the apps from our servers, or they can tap into our database, or into the huge databases on the Internet to pull in reference data.

He had to go through the big cruiser as though such a ship was familiar to him, he had to accept references to a thousand things which Zarth Arn would know, without betraying his ignorance.

But though these references may well explain why it was in fact in such and such a determined set of circumstances and in answer to such and such a precise question that these sciences were articulated, nevertheless, their intrinsic possibility, the simple fact that man, whether in isolation or as a group, and for the first time since human beings have existed and have lived together in societies, should have become the object of science - that cannot be considered or treated as a phenomenon of opinion: it is an event in the order of knowledge.