- one to whom something is referred, especially for decision or settlement; arbitrator.
- (in certain games and sports) a judge having functions fixed by the rules of the game or sport; umpire.
- an authority who evaluates scientific, technical, or scholarly papers, grant proposals, or the like for the publication or funding institution to which they have been submitted.
- Law. a person selected by a court to take testimony in a case and return it to the court with recommendations as to the decision.
verb (used with object), ref·er·eed, ref·er·ee·ing.
- to preside over as referee; act as referee in.
verb (used without object), ref·er·eed, ref·er·ee·ing.
- to act as referee.
- a person to whom reference is made, esp for an opinion, information, or a decision
- the umpire or judge in any of various sports, esp football and boxing, responsible for ensuring fair play according to the rules
- a person who is willing to testify to the character or capabilities of someone
- law See Official Referee
verb -ees, -eeing or -eed
- to act as a referee (in); preside (over)
1620s, “person who examines patent applications” (see refer). Sporting use recorded by 1820 (specifically of baseball from 1856).
1883, originally colloquial, from referee (n.). Related: Refereed; refereeing.