Definition of referential in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˌrefəˈren(t)SHəl/


1Containing or of the nature of references or allusions.
Example sentences
  • As both message and context, nature can manifest the referential function.
  • Shades of Mahler and Shostakovich flit through the texture in which dissonances set against a tonally referential idiom and allusions to earlier styles are set within absolute musical structures.
  • The map is a referential structure; inside a coordinate system all can be referenced laying the gridwork for reality.
2 Linguistics Relating to a referent, in particular having the external world rather than a text or language as a referent.
Example sentences
  • K. Anthony Appiah argues that racial ascriptions are problematic whether one adopts an ideational or a referential theory of language.
  • In language, the words we deal with do have referential meaning which extends beyond this closed logical system.
  • Now, everyone seems to agree about where the basic referential morphemes here come from.



Pronunciation: /ˌrefəˌrenCHēˈalətē/
Example sentences
  • She believed, and nourished the belief, that genuine, up-from-the-bottom revolution must include art, laughter, sensual pleasure, and the widest possible human referentiality.
  • The point of deconstruction was that language, by its nature, escapes pure referentiality; it was never that the things language tries to refer to do not exist.
  • The more particular criticism seems to be that the referentiality is something that panders to the intelligence of the audience, that falsely congratulates them on being so well-informed.


Example sentences
  • Certainly, an introductory survey needs to account for these texts, summarise their content and aims, and use them referentially as an argument progresses.
  • Logophoric pronouns are semantically stronger than regular pronouns in that syntactically, they usually require to be bound in a local domain, and semantically, they are canonically referentially dependent.
  • On the other hand the reference value might be referentially atomic, meaning that it has no particular internal structural relation to any other reference values; maybe it is used as an index in an association list.

Words that rhyme with referential

cadential, confidential, consequential, credential, deferential, differential, essential, evidential, existential, experiential, exponential, influential, intelligential, irreverential, jurisprudential, penitential, pestilential, potential, preferential, presidential, providential, prudential, quintessential, residential, reverential, sapiential, sciential, sentential, sequential, tangential, torrential

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: ref·er·en·tial

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