Definition of referee in English:



  • 1An official who watches a game or match closely to ensure that the rules are adhered to and (in some sports) to arbitrate on matters arising from the play.

    • ‘I asked the referee at half-time why he hadn't given a penalty.’
    • ‘The first round tie kicked off 25 minutes late when the appointed referee failed to turn up.’
    • ‘The system has already been adopted by professional rugby referees south of the Border.’
    • ‘The referee's whistle came not a moment too soon and the celebrations began.’
    • ‘There was one tackle that was so late the referee had blown for half-time.’
    • ‘The results have been positive with one of our assistant referees officiating in the last World Cup tournament in France.’
    • ‘But the video referee ruled that Paul Johnson had been illegally dispossessed.’
    • ‘He was a rugby football referee in his spare time at one time.’
    • ‘The shortage of hurling referees is still a problem.’
    • ‘The Association, at present, is failing in its duty to referees, players and supporters alike.’
    • ‘For a change, the video referee ruled against Saints and the try was rightly allowed to stand.’
    • ‘Yet I thought the referees stopped some of the bouts too soon.’
    • ‘He has served as an ICC match referee and is a past chief executive of the Pakistan Cricket Board.’
    • ‘Pat White was an impartial referee in a game played in a sporting spirit.’
    • ‘Mickey is a well known soccer referee and gave many years service to the game.’
    • ‘He has come across all of the top referees in the game and they have no problem with him.’
    • ‘A rugby player who was injured in an accident on the field sued the referee for failing to protect him from a falling scrum.’
    • ‘But, if your team loses you blame the referee or the yellow card.’
    • ‘Danny was one of the best Gaelic football referees in the county.’
    • ‘During the match assistant referee Andrew Halliday was felled by a hurled coin and bottles were thrown.’
    umpire, judge, referee's assistant, assistant referee, linesman, line judge, adjudicator, arbitrator, arbiter, mediator
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  • 2British A person willing to testify in writing about the character or ability of someone, especially an applicant for a job.

    • ‘Neither of the referees she named on the application form - which she was asked to complete at the interview - was contacted.’
    • ‘To start with, the referee has to be asked about the customer's character and creditworthiness and, generally, about his circumstances in life.’
    • ‘While other character referees chose to scurry straight out of court or only give written statements, Andrew Vizard sat next to his brother before and after his evidence.’
    • ‘I need referees who are of upstanding character and have known me for at least a year and can attest to my upstanding character.’
    • ‘The paper also claimed that Ron Walker and Eddie McGuire have declined to be character referees in court on Thursday.’
    • ‘The line-up of character referees in the Federal Court on 21 February will be interesting to watch.’
    • ‘Brown is one of McConnell's referees on his application for Labour party general secretary job.’
    supporter, character witness, backer, advocate
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    1. 2.1 A person appointed to examine and assess for publication a scientific or other academic work.
      • ‘The author would like to thank two anonymous referees for their helpful comments.’
      • ‘I want to thank the staff, referees, and authors for their dedicated support of this publication.’
      • ‘Connor said that the referees were against publication.’
      • ‘As one of my referees pointed out, academic discourse does not allow for this kind of evidence alone.’
      • ‘We are all familiar with how journal editors can select referees to get the reports they want.’
      • ‘In particular, I refer to solving problems with the writing and management of the referee process.’
      • ‘A referee has huge power and what is written by a referee in his report is taken as the ‘gospel’.’
      • ‘It was written by Satyendra Nath Bose and rejected by a referee for publication.’
      • ‘Mel and I got our report back from the referees with regards to the Unlawful Combatant article.’
      • ‘It should really not come as a surprise when you have friends round for dinner and someone, gently, reminds you that you need two referees to support your Ph.D. application.’
      • ‘We acknowledge the very important role of the many men and women who agree to serve as academic referees for the manuscripts submitted to Sociology of Religion.’
      • ‘The author would like to thank Kim Van der Borght for his support and the anonymous referee for their valuable guidance and comments.’
      • ‘They relied on the journal referees who had accepted Igor's papers for publication in order to judge the finer points of the work.’
      • ‘Cauchy and Legendre were appointed referees of this memoir.’
      adjudicator, arbiter, assessor, evaluator, appraiser, examiner, moderator
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  • with object Act as referee for.

    ‘the man who refereed the World Cup final’
    no object ‘refereeing for medical journals’
    • ‘Brian White refereed the game effectively, working with a good team at both ends and on the sidelines.’
    • ‘Joe Kernan agreed as much when he said: ‘In fairness, I thought Brian White refereed the game well.’’
    • ‘He refereed many inter-county games and county finals all over Munster.’
    • ‘He refereed both hurling and football games for a number of years.’
    • ‘The coach of Morgan's team was gracious enough to referee the match and stood in the middle as the game began.’
    • ‘If there is one thing he should never be allowed to do again, it's referee a professional football match.’
    • ‘‘They are fantastic kids,’ said Georgian wrestling champion Levan Tediashvili, who refereed the match.’
    • ‘Deirdre's husband Sean refereed the match and indeed Deirdre herself refereed the minor game earlier in the day.’
    • ‘Finally a special thank you to Noel O'Brien who refereed the home matches.’
    • ‘In tournaments, players, if victorious, are asked to referee the following match on their court.’
    • ‘Transition year students from Ballinrobe Community School will referee the games.’
    • ‘When Oliver was asked to referee the game, he was delighted and agreed immediately.’
    • ‘Who in their right mind would risk life and limb to referee a local soccer or football match?’
    • ‘Incidentally, despite the heavy conditions and bone-numbing cold, this was a clean, entertaining game well refereed by Dessie McDonald from Whitecross.’
    • ‘I had a game there and found out that Tom was going to referee the game.’
    • ‘I enjoyed Kevin Dwyer's commentary but he tended to referee the game too much.’
    • ‘Both matches were refereed by Seamus Lalor of Stradbally.’
    • ‘It takes a special person to referee a wrestling match.’
    • ‘I might not know a great deal about how to referee a game of football but I do know right from wrong.’
    • ‘It is difficult, but not impossible, to referee a rugby match if you don't have some intrinsic understanding of, and feeling for, the game.’