Etymology
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referral (n.)

1920, "act of referring," from refer + -al (2). Especially to an expert or specialist, for advice (a sense attested by 1955 in social work). Earlier word was referment (1550s), and compare reference (n.).

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Definitions of referral

referral (n.)
a person whose case has been referred to a specialist or professional group;
the patient is a referral from Dr. Bones
referral (n.)
a recommendation to consult the (professional) person or group to whom one has been referred;
the insurance company says that you need a written referral from your physician before seeing a specialist
referral (n.)
the act of referring (as forwarding an applicant for employment or referring a matter to an appropriate agency);
From wordnet.princeton.edu