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noun rel·a·tive \ˈre-lə-tiv\

Simple Definition of relative

  • : a member of your family

  • : something that belongs to the same group as something else because of shared characteristics, qualities, etc.

Full Definition of relative

  1. 1 :  a word referring grammatically to an antecedent

  2. 2 :  a thing having a relation to or connection with or necessary dependence on another thing

  3. 3 a :  a person connected with another by blood or affinity b :  an animal or plant related to another by common descent

  4. 4 :  a relative term

Examples of relative

  1. At the family reunion, I saw relatives I haven't seen in years.

  2. He inherited a small piece of land from a distant relative.

  3. The donkey is a relative of the horse.

14th Century

First Known Use of relative

14th century

Other Genetics Terms



adjective rel·a·tive

Simple Definition of relative

  • : compared to someone or something else or to each other

  • : seeming to be something when compared with others

  • grammar : referring to a noun, a part of a sentence, or a sentence that was used earlier

Full Definition of relative

  1. 1 :  introducing a subordinate clause qualifying an expressed or implied antecedent <a relative pronoun>; also :  introduced by such a connective <a relative clause>

  2. 2 :  relevant, pertinent <matters relative to world peace>

  3. 3 :  not absolute or independent :  comparative <the relative isolation of life in the country>

  4. 4 :  having the same key signature —used of major and minor keys and scales

  5. 5 :  expressed as the ratio of the specified quantity (as an error in measuring) to the total magnitude (as the value of a measured quantity) or to the mean of all the quantities involved

Examples of relative

  1. the relative value of two houses

  2. the relative positions of the islands

  3. We discussed the relative merits of each school.

  4. Who, whom, whose, which, and that are all relative pronouns.

  5. The phrase that won in the book that won is a relative clause.

15th Century

First Known Use of relative

15th century

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