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From re- +‎ ferō (bear, carry).



referō (present infinitive referre, perfect active rettulī, supine relātum); third conjugation, irregular

  1. to bear, bring, drive or carry back
    Synonym: reveho
  2. to give back, give up, return, restore, pay back, repay, pay in return, show one's gratitude
  3. (of sound) to bring back, return, answer, echo, resound
  4. to bring back, restore, renew, revive, repeat
  5. to say in return, respond, reply, answer, represent
    Synonyms: respondeo, occurro
  6. to call to mind, recall, think over, call back to memory, repeat one's self
    Synonyms: memorō, admoneō, moneō, retineō, meminī, redūcō
    Antonyms: oblīvīscor, oblitterō
    • 8 CE, Ovid, Fasti 2.104:
      liceat sūmpta pauca referre lyra
      Let me take up my lyre to recall a few [notes].
  7. to reconsider
  8. to refer to, assign to, give credit for
  9. to judge by, measure according to a certain standard
  10. to restore, renew, revive, repeat
    Synonyms: iterō, integrō, redintegrō, renovō, novō, reficiō, reparō
  11. (news or message) relate, recount, tell, say
    Synonyms: oro, alloquor, loquor, for, aio, alloquor, loquor, colloquor
  12. (matter of import, to the senate) to bring before, refer to
    Synonym: propono
  13. (name or item in a list) to include, enter
  14. to make known officially, report, deliver, transmit, announce, notify, proclaim, register, record
    Synonyms: dēnūntiō, adnuntio, nuntio, indico, renūntiō, nū̆ncupō, profiteor, dēferō, prōdō, ēdīcō, praedicō, cōntiōnor
  15. (passive) to retreat, go back, withdraw, return
    Synonyms: facessō, dēcēdō, discēdō, cēdō, dēficiō, concēdō, excēdō, regredior, subtrahō, subdūcō, inclīnō, recēdō, āmoveō, recipiō, vertō
    Antonyms: prōgredior, prōdeō, prōcēdō, prōficiō, aggredior, ēvehō, incēdō, accēdō, adeō
  16. to tell, recount, narrate
    Synonyms: ferō, prōdō, pandō, trādō, dicitur

Usage notes[edit]

  • The forms "rettul..." are also found as "retul...".


   Conjugation of referō (third conjugation, irregular, suppletive)
indicative singular plural
first second third first second third
active present referō refers refert referimus refertis referunt
imperfect referēbam referēbās referēbat referēbāmus referēbātis referēbant
future referam referēs referet referēmus referētis referent
perfect rettulī rettulistī rettulit rettulimus rettulistis rettulērunt,
pluperfect rettuleram rettulerās rettulerat rettulerāmus rettulerātis rettulerant
future perfect rettulerō rettuleris rettulerit rettulerimus rettuleritis rettulerint
passive present referor referris,
refertur referimur referiminī referuntur
imperfect referēbar referēbāris,
referēbātur referēbāmur referēbāminī referēbantur
future referar referēris,
referētur referēmur referēminī referentur
perfect relātus + present active indicative of sum
pluperfect relātus + imperfect active indicative of sum
future perfect relātus + future active indicative of sum
subjunctive singular plural
first second third first second third
active present referam referās referat referāmus referātis referant
imperfect referrem referrēs referret referrēmus referrētis referrent
perfect rettulerim rettulerīs rettulerit rettulerīmus rettulerītis rettulerint
pluperfect rettulissem rettulissēs rettulisset rettulissēmus rettulissētis rettulissent
passive present referar referāris,
referātur referāmur referāminī referantur
imperfect referrer referrēris,
referrētur referrēmur referrēminī referrentur
perfect relātus + present active subjunctive of sum
pluperfect relātus + imperfect active subjunctive of sum
imperative singular plural
first second third first second third
active present refer referte
future refertō refertō refertōte referuntō
passive present referre referiminī
future refertor refertor referuntor
non-finite forms active passive
present perfect future present perfect future
infinitives referre rettulisse relātūrum esse referrī relātum esse relātum īrī
participles referēns relātūrus relātus referendus,
verbal nouns gerund supine
genitive dative accusative ablative accusative ablative
referendī referendō referendum referendō relātum relātū

Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]



  • refero”, in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • refero”, in Charlton T. Lewis (1891) An Elementary Latin Dictionary, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • refero in Gaffiot, Félix (1934) Dictionnaire illustré latin-français, Hachette.
  • refero in Enrico Olivetti, editor (2003-2024), Dizionario Latino, Olivetti Media Communication
  • Carl Meißner, Henry William Auden (1894) Latin Phrase-Book[1], London: Macmillan and Co.
    • to retreat step by step: gradum sensim referre
    • to consider one's own advantage in everything: omnia ad suam utilitatem referre
    • to show gratitude (in one's acts): gratiam alicui referre (meritam, debitam) pro aliqua re
    • to return like for like: par pari referre
    • to reward amply; to give manifold recompense for: bonam (praeclaram) gratiam referre
    • the book is attributed to an unknown writer: liber refertur ad nescio quem auctorem
    • to enter a thing in one's note-book: aliquid in commentarios suos referre (Tusc. 3. 22. 54)
    • to make virtue the standard in every thought and act: omnia consilia et facta ad virtutem referre (Phil. 10. 10. 20)
    • to measure something by the standard of something else; to make something one's criterion: dirigere or referre aliquid ad aliquam rem
    • to deify a person: aliquem in deorum numerum referre, reponere
    • to consider as a god: aliquem in deorum numero referre
    • to book a debt: nomina facere or in tabulas referre
    • to put down to a man's credit: alicui acceptum referre aliquid (Verr. 2. 70. 170)
    • to retire into private life: in otium se referre (Fam. 99)
    • to consider a thing from a political point of view: ad rei publicae rationes aliquid referre
    • to record in the official tablets (Annales maximi): in album referre (De Or. 2. 12. 52)
    • to place a person's name on the list of the proscribed: in proscriptorum numerum referre aliquem (Rosc. Am. 11. 32)
    • to bring a question before the senate (of the presiding magistrate): ad senatum referre (Cic. Dom. 53. 136)
    • to enter a thing in the public records: in tabulas publicas referre aliquid
    • to put some one on the list of the accused: referre in reos aliquem
    • to retire (without turning one's back on the enemy): pedem referre
    • to gain a victory, win a battle: victoriam ferre, referre
  • Frederic M. Wheelock and Richard A. LaFleur (2000), Wheelock's Latin (6th edition), HarperCollins: New York, →ISBN