—n. 1. one to whom something is referred, esp. for decision or settlement; arbitrator.
2. (in certain games and sports) a judge having functions fixed by the rules of the game or sport; umpire.
3. an authority who evaluates scientific, technical, or scholarly papers, grant proposals, or the like for the publication or funding institution to which they have been submitted.
4. Law.a person selected by a court to take testimony in a case and return it to the court with recommendations as to the decision.
—v.t. to preside over as referee; act as referee in.