cor·re·la·tion | \ ˌkȯr-ə-ˈlā-shən , 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, -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

Conservative activists and politicians, though, argue there is no correlation between the money Texas spends and improvement in a child’s conditions. Catherine Marfin, San Antonio Express-News, "Study: Texas ranks 43rd in child well-being," 26 June 2018 Further research is needed, but there appears to be a correlation between the rise in targeted racially divisive social media ads and a near contemporaneous rise in hate crime. Brian Levin, James J. Nolan, CBS News, "New data shows US hate crimes continued to rise in 2017," 26 June 2018 Newswires carried the story that impeccable academic research had found the correlations that the task force wanted: Low self-esteem was linked to social problems. Anthony Gottlieb, New York Times, "How We Got to Be So Self-Absorbed: The Long Story," 21 June 2018 One of the organization’s ongoing projects involves checking anacondas to determine if there is a correlation between gold mining in the region and mercury accumulation in apex predators. Brent Crane, Outside Online, "Looking for a Novel Vacation? Discover a New Species," 24 May 2018 Wayne Cornelius, UC San Diego professor emeritus who has studied immigration for decades, said there is no correlation between sanctuary cities and crime rates. Steve Lopez,, "Pro- and anti-Trump forces score points on immigration, but both sides are losing," 25 Apr. 2018 While this is a correlation rather than a causation, another study found that taking a substance called haloperidol, which disrupts dopamine’s effects within the brain, led to a measurable decrease in sensation seeking behaviour. Richard Stephens, Smithsonian, "The History and Psychology of Roller Coasters," 12 July 2018 There is a strong correlation between the degree of welcoming in our immigration policies and legal applications among those willing to take the jobs U.S. citizens do not want. Phillip Molnar,, "Will a slowdown in refugees hurt San Diego County’s economy?," 29 June 2018 That research demonstrated that after about the seventh or eighth pick in the typical NBA draft, there isn’t a high correlation between when a player is chosen in a draft and whether that player ends up a star. Rick Bonnell, charlotteobserver, "Charlotte Hornets history: How NBA draft week is often trade week, too," 16 June 2018

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

21 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for correlation

The first known use of correlation was in 1561

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English Language Learners Definition of correlation

: the relationship between things that happen or change together

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