reference (n.) Look up reference at
1580s, "act of referring," from refer + -ance, or else from French référence, from Medieval Latin *referentia, from Latin referentem (nominative referens), present participle of referre (see refer). Meaning "direction to a book or passage" is recorded from 1610s. Meaning "testimonial" is from 1895. Reference book dates from 1808. Phrase in reference to is attested from 1590s.
reference (v.) Look up reference at
1620s, "to assign;" as "to provide with a reference," 1837 (implied in referenced), from reference (n.). Related: Referencing.