Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary




Synonyms and Antonyms of relation

  1. 1 relations pl  doings between individuals or groups <relations between the rival newspapers remained friendly despite their competition for the same stories> Synonyms commerce, dealings, interaction, intercourse Related Words interrelationship; cross-fertilization, cross-pollination; companionship, company Antonyms nonintercourse

  2. 2 a person connected with another by blood or marriage <he and I are relations on my mother's side> Synonyms cousin, kin, kinsman, relativeRelated Words in-law; kissing cousin; kinswoman; blood, clan, family, folk, house, kindred, kinfolk (or kinfolks), kinsfolk, line, lineage, people, race, stock, tribeAntonyms nonrelative

  3. 3 the fact or state of having something in common <there's no relation between you losing your favorite baseball hat and your team losing the game> Synonyms affinity, association, bearing, kinship, liaison, linkage, connection, relationshipRelated Words correlation, interrelation; materiality, pertinence, relevance; bond, link, tie; affiliation, alliance, union; identicalness, sameness; alikeness, community, likeness, resemblance, similarity; accordance, agreement, conformity, congruity, correspondenceNear Antonyms variability, variance; incompatibility, incongruence, incongruity, incongruousness

  4. 4 the state of having shared interests or efforts (as in social or business matters) <our intramural baseball team had a relation with the other baseball teams in the area> Synonyms affiliation, alliance, collaboration, confederation, connection, cooperation, hookup, liaison, linkup, partnership, association, relationship, tie-up, unionRelated Words business, dealings, interaction; exchange, interconnection, interrelation, mutualism, reciprocity, symbiosis; incorporation, integration, merger, unification; affinity, attachment, closeness, intimacy, rapport, sympathy; kinship, oneness, solidarity, togetherness, unity; colleagueship, companionship, company, fellowship; bed, cahoots, leagueNear Antonyms breakup, dissolution, disunion; division, parting, separation, severance, split; alienation, divorce, estrangementAntonyms disaffiliation, dissociation

  5. 5 relations pl  sexual union involving penetration of the vagina by the penis <a law that prohibits relations between close relatives> Synonyms coition, coitus, commerce, congress, copulating, copulation, coupling, intercourse, lovemaking, mating, relations, sex, sex act, sexual relationsRelated Words fornication; safe sex; carnality, sexuality; breeding, insemination; dalliance, hanky-panky, whoopee

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up relation? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


marked by grandiloquent style

Get Word of the Day daily email!


Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!


Which of these is a synonym of nonplus?

perplex disapprove reduce soothe
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.