Definition of correlation
1 : the state or relation of being correlated; specifically : a relation existing between phenomena or things or between mathematical or statistical variables which tend to vary, be associated, or occur together in a way not expected on the basis of chance alone … the obviously high positive correlation between scholastic aptitude and college entrance … — James B. Conant
2 : the act of correlating
correlationalplay \ˌkȯr-ə-ˈlā-shnəl, -shə-nəl, ˌkär-\ adjective
Examples of correlation in a Sentence
the correlation of brain size and intelligence
Researchers have found a direct correlation between smoking and lung cancer.
She says that there's no correlation between being thin and being happy.
Recent Examples of correlation from the Web
There’s a high correlation, Nall told me, between people who believe in taxing the rich and those who believe in providing housing for all.
There's a direct correlation between that recent period of success and the arrival of Schureck, who assisted at FC Cincinnati training sessions informally for weeks prior to the official June 16 announcement of his hire as goalkeeping coach.
Breastfeeding more than one child, and doing it for two years or longer, appeared to deliver even greater protective benefits, although the study only proves a correlation, not causation.
Of course, correlation is not causation, and there’s no genetic confirmation of the new idea—yet.
While there isn’t medically backed research on the topic to date, Taylor told me that believes there’s a correlation between abdominal massage and nutrient absorption.
Some question the correlation between violence and political rhetoric, stressing that gunmen who attack political targets are often unstable or angry for unrelated reasons.
There is some correlation: Countries that broke through first [in terms of industrializing]—Britain, Northern Europe—tend to be more democratic.
So when studies show that barbecue, hot dogs, Nutella, booze or basically anything fun to eat or drink may harm you, remember this: Correlation does not imply causation.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'correlation'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Origin and Etymology of correlation
Medieval Latin correlation-, correlatio, from Latin com- + relation-, relatio relation
First Known Use: 1561See Words from the same year
CORRELATION Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of correlation for English Language Learners
: the relationship between things that happen or change together
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up correlation? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).