Meaning of referential in English:


Pronunciation /ˌrɛfəˈrɛnʃl/


  • 1Containing or of the nature of references or allusions.

    ‘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.’
    • ‘Before identifying a paradigmatic text on which to focus, a basic understanding of the referential patterns in audience attitudes toward age, gender, and romance in screen cultures was sought.’
    • ‘The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe is only part of Lewis's multi-layered seven-volume fiction, and like most referential treatments of classic literature, it is overlong and sometimes awkward.’
    • ‘Based on the Elena Stancanelli novel, the feature riffs beautifully on various bits of pop and film history, but never feels like a cheap ripoff, or like a work that rests on its referential laurels.’
    • ‘Maybe she has decided her column should replicate a blog post that synthesises a number of sources (but without the referential hyperlinks)?’
    • ‘Another piece of evidence that supported the study was that male talk tends to be more referential or informative, while female talk is more supportive and facilitative.’
    • ‘To have allowed the actual, the almost-representational and the referential, into his frames is already a considerable move for Shreshtha.’
    • ‘It was surely from Rothko, though, that he learned the profound truth that a simple shape can be not merely referential to the observed world but can in itself sum up and communicate human ideas.’
    • ‘The referential type of thing is what excites me.’
    • ‘It is these referential touches that enhance the movie.’
    • ‘Almodóvar is one wildly referential director, riding pop culture throughout this Bad Education.’
    • ‘This is one of the things that really bugs me: so much of this stuff is referential, and always to one place.’
    • ‘While the poems are often wild as usual, their referential reach is bound by the subject of the volume.’
    • ‘The Walkers' art balances on a line between referential and impenetrable, sometimes falling on the wrong side of that line.’
    • ‘Ten or 15 years ago, this would have been a very different book, full of the referential jokiness of postmodernism.’
    • ‘The everyday is dilated and takes on further meaning, both abstract and referential.’
    • ‘Even the earlier buildings are referential, trying to create meaning in this New World by referring to an imaginary old one.’
    • ‘The other way to think of music is in its own terms - not referential to anything else.’
  • 2Linguistics
    Relating to a referent, in particular having the external world rather than a text or language as a referent.

    ‘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.’
    • ‘There is an intuition that indefinites have specific readings in which they are referential and where the speaker can identify the referent, but the hearer cannot.’
    • ‘As with Yojimbo and Sanjuro, Seven Samurai is, on a purely referential level of story and plot, about samurai warriors saving peasants.’