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

For centuries now, the growth of economies has been tightly coupled with rising energy demand and rising greenhouse gas emissions — a one-to-one correlation, more or less. David Roberts, Vox, "The case for “conditional optimism” on climate change," 29 Jan. 2019 The correlation the team found between a one-time estimate of screen time, and what the Screen Time app logged, fell right in between. Rachel Becker, The Verge, "The problem with studies saying phones are bad for you," 5 Dec. 2018 The subsequent 30 years produced an insignificant correlation, minus 0.02. David Ranson, WSJ, "The Myth of the All-Powerful Federal Reserve," 21 Aug. 2018 Unlike the short-focused U.S., China plays the long game, in which the chief objective is a favorable correlation of forces over time and the most important measure is military capacity. Mark Helprin, WSJ, "The U.S. Is Ceding the Pacific to China," 3 Mar. 2019 Some research suggests a negative effect on cognition, while other studies failed to find much correlation. Dan Adams, BostonGlobe.com, "21 questions answered about legal marijuana in Massachusetts," 21 June 2018 The correlation could exist because the users were already depressed and turned to social media for a pick-me-up. Jessica Wapner, SELF, "How Worried Do You Really Need to Be About Your Screen Time?," 7 Feb. 2019 And the correlation almost vanished when the study authors controlled for factors like family background and intelligence. Julia Belluz, Vox, "7 bad science and health ideas that should die with 2018," 26 Dec. 2018 Beecher went to the front lines during World War II to interview seriously wounded men and study the correlation between the seriousness of an injury and the amount of pain experienced. Nancy Richardson Fischer, Harper's BAZAAR, "The Power of Not Naming My Disorder," 3 Dec. 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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Last Updated

23 Mar 2019

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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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