international relations

noun, plural in form but singular in construction

Definition of international relations

: a branch of political science concerned with relations between nations and primarily with foreign policies

Examples of international relations in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Shen Dingli, a professor of international relations at Fudan University in Shanghai, argued in an article that the risks of conflict over the island were rising. Steven Lee Myers, New York Times, "China Ramps Up a War of Words, Warning the U.S. of Its Red Lines," 2 Oct. 2020 Fox News host Greg Gutfeld praised President Trump in his initiatives toward international relations, comparing him to one of the most famous figures of world peace, Mahatma Gandhi. Mica Soellner, Washington Examiner, "Greg Gutfeld: Trump 'better than Gandhi' on international peace deals," 11 Sep. 2020 Casey Dominguez, a political science and international relations professor at the University of San Diego, said the poll confirmed that people do not base their votes on a ticket’s vice president. Gary Warth, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Poll shows VP pick caused little change among California voters," 13 Aug. 2020 Paola de Simone, 46, a professor of government and international relations at the Universidad Argentina de la Empresa in Buenos Aires, died Wednesday, the university said in a statement on Twitter. Grace Hauck, USA TODAY, "College professor with COVID-19 symptoms dies after struggling to breathe during Zoom lecture," 5 Sep. 2020 The Interior Ministry of Spain denied requests by the Associated Press to share nationalities of recent arrivals to the Canary Islands, claiming the information could impact international relations with the countries of origin. Renata Brito, The Christian Science Monitor, "Migrants trying to reach Europe squeezed by pandemic and the sea," 2 Sep. 2020 China’s international relations have also been damaged by scrutiny of its early handling of Covid-19, as well as its actions on human rights and political freedoms, including its controversial national security law for Hong Kong., "China Warns Norway Against Peace Prize for Hong Kong Protesters," 28 Aug. 2020 Wheaton College, Wheaton, Ill.: Emily Carol Schroen, San Diego, bachelor of arts, psychology and international relations, magna cum laude. Laura Groch, San Diego Union-Tribune, "South/East County Happenings, Aug. 27," 27 Aug. 2020 Ocasio-Cortez, who graduated cum laude from Boston University with degrees in international relations and economics, responded to Trump's criticisms on Twitter by challenging him to release his transcript and compare them to hers. Madison Dibble, Washington Examiner, "AOC challenges Trump for calling her 'poor student': 'You release your college transcript, I’ll release mine'," 13 Aug. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'international relations.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of international relations

1914, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about international relations

Time Traveler for international relations

Time Traveler

The first known use of international relations was in 1914

See more words from the same year

Statistics for international relations

Last Updated

13 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“International relations.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Oct. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for international relations

international relations


English Language Learners Definition of international relations

: an area of study or knowledge concerned with relations between different countries

More from Merriam-Webster on international relations Encyclopedia article about international relations

Comments on international relations

What made you want to look up international relations? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Namesakes Word Quiz

  • a citrus fruit possibly named after a person
  • Which of the following is a fruit named after a Moroccan seaport?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!