refer 1 assign, credit, accredit, *ascribe, attribute, impute, charge
Analogous words: associate, relate, connect (see JOIN): *direct, aim, point, lay
2 *resort, apply, go, turn
Analogous words: consult, *confer, commune, advise: address, *direct
3 Refer, allude, advert are comparable when they mean to mention something so as to call or direct attention to it.
Refer, when unqualified, usually suggests intentional introduction and distinct mention

a day or two later she referred to the matter again— Mary Austin


we may here again refer, in support of this proposition, to the plain and unequivocal language of the laws— Taney

but often it is so qualified as to add the idea of judging to that of mentioning

inclined at times to give a subjective interpretation to mathematical-physical theories and to refer to them as fictions— Cohen

Allude, though often close to refer in the latter's more general sense, distinctively implies indirect reference (as by a hint, a suggestive phrase, a roundabout or covert method of expression, or a figure of speech); it may suggest mere casual interest, modesty, timidity, or reticence in the one who alludes

fruit . . . gives him that intestinal condition I alluded to— Stafford


the traveling facilities alluded to . . . would date the story as between 1842 and 1844— O. S. Nock

Sometimes, however, it connotes bias or ill will

proposals, which were never called proposals, but always alluded to slightingly as innovations— Mackenzie

Advert, which basically means to turn the mind or attention to something (see ADVERT 1), is sometimes interchangeable with refer but in such use it may distinctively imply a slight or glancing reference interpolated in a text or utterance

regards as truly religious certain elevated ethical attitudes and cosmologies that Freud, when he adverted to them at all, regarded as too highbrow to be given the name of religion— Riesman


letters from Franklin to his wife's grandmother ... in which he adverted to having had to do with her education— Justice Holmes

Analogous words: *introduce, insert, interpolate: *quote, cite

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • refer — re‧fer [rɪˈfɜː ǁ ɜːr] verb referred PTandPPX referring PRESPARTX refer to phrasal verb [transitive] 1. refer to something to mention something: • I refer to your letter of 22 March …   Financial and business terms

  • refer — ► VERB (referred, referring) 1) (refer to) mention or allude to. 2) (refer to) direct the attention of (someone) to. 3) (refer to) (of a word or phrase) describe or denote. 4) ( …   English terms dictionary

  • Refer — Re*fer , v. i. 1. To have recourse; to apply; to appeal; to betake one s self; as, to refer to a dictionary. [1913 Webster] In suits . . . it is to refer to some friend of trust. Bacon. [1913 Webster] 2. To have relation or reference; to relate;… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Refer — Re*fer (r[ e]*f[ e]r ), v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Referred} (r[ e]*f[ e]rd ); p. pr. & vb. n. {Referring}.] [F. r[ e]f[ e]rer, L. referre; pref. re re + ferre to bear. See {Bear} to carry.] 1. To carry or send back. [Obs.] Chaucer. [1913 Webster] 2.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • refer to — (of a word or phrase) describe or denote. → refer refer to consult (a source of information). → refer refer to mention or allude to. → refer …   English new terms dictionary

  • refer — [v1] mention accredit, adduce, advert, allude, ascribe, assign, associate, attribute, bring up, charge, cite, credit, designate, direct attention, excerpt, exemplify, extract, give as example, glance, hint, impute, indicate, insert, instance,… …   New thesaurus

  • refer — [ri fʉr′] vt. referred, referring [ME referren < MFr referer < L referre < re , back + ferre, to BEAR1] 1. to assign or attribute (to) as cause or origin 2. to assign, or regard or name as belonging (to a kind, class, date, etc.) 3. to… …   English World dictionary

  • Refer — can mean:*To refer a patient is to transfer their care from one clinician to another *Refer (software), the troff preprocessor for citationsOther*Reference *Reefer …   Wikipedia

  • refer — re·fer /ri fər/ vt re·ferred, re·fer·ring: to send or direct for treatment, aid, service, information, or decision referred the debtor to an attorney with expertise in bankruptcy; specif: commit (1c) Merriam Webster’s Dictionary of Law. Merriam… …   Law dictionary

  • refer — late 14c., to trace back, attribute, assign, from O.Fr. referer (14c.), from L. referre to relate, refer, lit. to carry back, from re back (see RE (Cf. re )) + ferre carry (see INFER (Cf. infer)). Meaning to commit to some authority for a deci …   Etymology dictionary

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