Definition of referent in English:


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


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.


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

Definition of referent in: