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refer (one) to (someone or something)
To send or direct one to someone or something as a source of information or support. You can refer the customer to clause 34-B if they are still unsure of their obligation. Let me refer you to a friend of mine. He's a clinical psychologist and may be able to help.
To submit something back to some person or group of authority, as to decide, settle, or examine something. A noun or pronoun can be used between "refer" and "back." We'll have to refer back this matter and proceed only once we've heard from our legal team. We've made the changes requested of us, so now we have to refer it back to the panel to see if it can be approved.
refer back to (someone or something)
1. To consult some previous piece or source of information; to turn one's attention back to something. We all referred back to the footage of our last game to see where each player could make improvements. I'll have to refer back to my notes to see what we had decided on at the last meeting.
2. To relate or pertain to something previously mentioned or seen. The image of the flowers refers back to the scene at the beginning of the film. The senator was referring back to the speech she gave in May.
3. To submit something back to some person or group of authority, as to decide, settle, or examine something. We'll have to refer this matter back to our legal team before we can proceed any further. We've made the changes requested of us, so now we have to refer it back to the panel to see if it can be approved.
4. To direct someone to meet, speak, or consult with some person or group of authority, information, or aid for a second time. The specialist referred me back to the doctor who made the original diagnosis. They referred me back to their PR team when I asked them about rumors of a potential merger.
refer to (someone or something)
1. To mention or make a reference to someone or something. "What a loudmouth," said John, referring to Tom. I was referring to Paris, Texas, not Paris, France.
2. To indicate, signify, or point to someone or something. The first pie chart refers to the company's various expenditures, while the second refers to our sources of revenue. This line in the application refers to people with a weekly income of less than $500.
3. To look or turn to something as a source of information or support. Please refer to your employee handbook if you have any questions about these policies.
refer to (someone or something) as (someone or something)
To call someone or something by a particular name or title. Should I refer to you as Dr. Smith or Professor Smith? I think you're all old enough now that you can start calling me Nancy, instead of Mrs. Johnson. They guys in engineering have started referring to the project as "The Impossible Task."
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
refer someone back to someone or something
to suggest that someone go back to someone or something, such as the source. I referred the client back to the lawyer she had originally consulted. Tom referred the customer back to the manufacturer who had made the shoddy product.
refer someone to someone or something
to direct someone to someone or something; to send someone to someone or something. The front office referred me to you, and you are now referring me to someone else! They should have referred you to the personnel department.
refer something back to someone or somethingand refer something back
to send something back to someone or a group for action. Dr. Smith knows more about this kind of case, so I referred it back to him. They referred back all the bills.
refer to someone or something
to mention someone or something. Are you referring tome when you speak about a kind and helpful person? I was referring to the personnel department.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
1. To mention or reference someone or something: When you say he's clumsy, are you referring to what he did the other day? When we are in the meeting, refer to me as your colleague and not as your sister.
2. To signify something or someone directly; denote something or someone: The red line on the graph refers to the birth rate and the blue line to the death rate.
3. To pertain to something or someone; concern something or someone: I have a question referring to yesterday's lecture.
4. To direct someone to someone or something for help, support, or information: My doctor couldn't find the problem, so she referred me to a specialist.
5. To have recourse to someone or something for help, support, or information; turn to someone or something: Whenever I encounter a word that I don't know, I refer to a dictionary.
6. To direct the attention of someone to something: The instructor referred us to the third page of the manual.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.