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reference +‎ -ial.


  • IPA(key): /ɹɛfəˈɹɛnʃəl/


referential (not comparable)

  1. Of a word or phrase applied to a particular person, place, or thing and not to any other.
  2. (linguistics) Of or relating to a referent.
    • 2011, James Dickins, Extended Axiomatic Linguistics, Walter de Gruyter, page 108:
      Thus, the referential location of “town” in an utterance “Went to town”, is simply to be conceived as that location which might also be referred to by “there”, “the place we visited last Thursday”, “your birthplace”, etc.
  3. Of or relating to reference or allusion.
    • 1990, Gerald Mead, “The Representation of Fictional Character”, in Style, volume 24, number 3, Penn State UP, JSTOR 42945872, page 441:
      Above all, the referential approach has proved durable and especially flexible.
    • 1991, David Herzberger, “Social Realism and the Contingencies of History in the Contemporary Spanish Novel”, in Hispanic Review, volume 59, number 2, U of Pennsylvania P, JSTOR 473720, page 161:
      In the first place, it must be pointed out that the bond with the past is inferential rather than referential.
  4. Serving as a reference.

Derived termsEdit