correlation

noun
cor·​re·​la·​tion | \ ˌkȯr-ə-ˈlā-shən How to pronounce correlation (audio) , ˌkär-\

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

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Other Words from correlation

correlational \ ˌkȯr-​ə-​ˈlā-​shnəl How to pronounce correlational (audio) , -​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.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Researchers have recently found correlations between lead in air and blood lead levels in children. Gabriel Filippelli, Quartz, "A geochemist’s simple tricks to reduce dust in your home," 20 June 2019 New research found a correlation between lead and cardiovascular disease, too. Carrie Blackmore Smith, Cincinnati.com, "EPA head Scott Pruitt in Cincinnati," 16 Apr. 2018 There should therefore be little correlation between a country’s savings and domestic-investment rates, since places with too little investment should offer investors higher returns, sucking in capital from abroad. The Economist, "Martin Feldstein was a pillar of American economics," 15 June 2019 On Earth, there's a strong correlation between the two in the weather. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Why the Sun-Studying Parker Space Probe Won't Melt," 20 July 2018 This correlation was not influenced by dog activity levels or dog personality. Bronwyn Orr, Quartz, "Your stress is hurting your dog, according to a new study," 9 June 2019 This can get confusing, though, because there isn’t a perfect year-to-year correlation between the two. Scott K. Johnson, Ars Technica, "The oceans absorbed extra CO₂ in the 2000s," 31 May 2019 The point is, the correlation between high dietary fiber intake and reduced risk of health conditions does not necessarily equal causation with the intake of fiber itself. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "How Much Fiber Should I Be Eating to Feel Regular?," 30 May 2019 For us, that story is not about there being a physical correlation between that time period and our future time period. Jessica Radloff, Glamour, "All Your Questions About the This Is Us Season Three Finale, Answered," 3 Apr. 2019

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.

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First Known Use of correlation

1561, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for correlation

Medieval Latin correlation-, correlatio, from Latin com- + relation-, relatio relation

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Statistics for correlation

Last Updated

13 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for correlation

The first known use of correlation was in 1561

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More Definitions for correlation

correlation

noun

English Language Learners Definition of correlation

: the relationship between things that happen or change together

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Comments on correlation

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appealing forcibly to the mind or reason

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