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 correlation (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 Without yet arguing that correlation = causation, the theatrical-exclusivity for this one sure as hell isn’t hurting. Scott Mendelson, Forbes, 13 June 2021 Studies show a strong correlation between access to primary care and lower spending on expensive medical services such as ER visits, surgeries and hospital admissions. Washington Post, 3 June 2021 Another particularly strong correlation lay with a counties’ share of uninsured residents. Susie Neilson, San Francisco Chronicle, 21 May 2021 The Honey Pot, also sees a correlation with shifting beauty ideals. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, 14 May 2021 Although, as Beutner noted, there’s a strong correlation between lower-income areas and higher return rates, the figures for high school students are low everywhere. Los Angeles Times, 10 May 2021 But social scientists agree only that there is no agreement: Academic research hasn’t established a positive correlation between female board directors and firm performance. C. Boyden Gray And Jonathan Berry, WSJ, 29 Apr. 2021 The Department of Education reviewed data from across the state and did not find a correlation between sweeping mask mandates and the presence of COVID-19 in schools, Corcoran said. Elinor Aspegren, USA TODAY, 16 Apr. 2021 SOCs can then optimize threat hunting by reducing the volume of alerts — while also increasing true positives — while surfacing more sophisticated attacks that correlation searches traditionally miss. Forbes, 1 June 2021

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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Learn More About correlation

Time Traveler for correlation

Time Traveler

The first known use of correlation was in 1561

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Statistics for correlation

Last Updated

17 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Correlation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for correlation



English Language Learners Definition of correlation

: the relationship between things that happen or change together


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