Definition of referent in English:

referent

Syllabification: ref·er·ent
Pronunciation: /ˈref(ə)rənt
 
/

noun

Linguistics
  • The thing that a word or phrase denotes or stands for: “the Morning Star” and “the Evening Star” have the same referent (the planet Venus)
    More example sentences
    • Meaning postulates are not about the sense of words but about their referents.
    • But in the following passage the syntax is such that the referent of the word lap is ambiguous.
    • Furthermore, demonstrative nominal and demonstrative pronominal anaphors appeared to function quite differently in expressing differences in transition stages of discourse referents.

Origin

mid 19th century: from Latin referent- 'bringing back', from the verb referre (see refer).

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