relation

noun
re·​la·​tion | \ ri-ˈlā-shən How to pronounce relation (audio) \

Definition of relation

1 : the act of telling or recounting : account
2 : an aspect or quality (such as resemblance) that connects two or more things or parts as being or belonging or working together or as being of the same kind the relation of time and space specifically : a property (such as one expressed by is equal to, is less than, or is the brother of) that holds between an ordered pair of objects
3 : the referring by a legal fiction of an act to a prior date as the time of its taking effect usually used with back
4a(1) : a person connected by consanguinity or affinity : relative
(2) : a person legally entitled to a share of the property of an intestate
b : relationship by consanguinity or affinity : kinship
5 : reference, respect in relation to
6 : the attitude or stance which two or more persons or groups assume toward one another race relations
7a : the state of being mutually or reciprocally interested (as in social or commercial matters)

b relations plural

(1) : dealings, intercourse foreign relations

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Synonyms & Antonyms for relation

Synonyms

commerce, dealings, interaction, intercourse

Antonyms

nonintercourse

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Examples of relation in a Sentence

The incident led to tense international relations. sexual relations outside of marriage

Recent Examples on the Web

Goldman has blamed rogue employees for any wrongdoing in relation to 1MDB, telling U.S. prosecutors it was deceived by Leissner. Yudith Ho, Washington Post, "What to Know as Goldman Sachs Faces Malaysia’s Legal System," 18 Sep. 2019 Mahon will be discussing the themes around cultural context and popular music during Staples' career, especially in relation to Civil Rights. Chuck Yarborough, cleveland.com, "Rock Hall Honors features three days celebrating Hall of Famer Mavis Staples," 17 Sep. 2019 This is particularly the case in relation to my former association or friendship with Mr. Epstein. Stephanie Petit, PEOPLE.com, "Prince Andrew Heads to Church with Queen Elizabeth Amid Recent Controversy," 16 Sep. 2019 But the definitions were fluid, always shifting in relation to the ever-changing party line. Madeleine Carlisle, Time, "What to Know About the Origins of 'Left' and 'Right' in Politics, From the French Revolution to the 2020 Presidential Race," 12 Sep. 2019 To do so, Ayzenberg and Lourenco manipulated the objects in certain ways, such as shifting the placement of an arm in relation to the rest of the body or changing how skinny, bulging, or wavy the outlines were. Dana G. Smith, Scientific American, "No Bones about It, People Recognize Objects by Visualizing Their “Skeletons”," 11 Sep. 2019 Just three weeks ago the Department of Justice indicted 80 suspects, largely Nigerian nationals, in relation to a massive alleged email scam and money laundering scheme. Wired, "281 Alleged Email Scammers Arrested in Massive Global Sweep," 10 Sep. 2019 Where does visual art stand in relation to cinema, in his eyes? Jonathan Griffin, New York Times, "Gus Van Sant’s Next Picture Will Be a Watercolor," 8 Sep. 2019 This news comes in the wake of many months of difficult deliberation by its Board of Directors, as well as a thorough review of the Camp's financial position in relation to its operating costs and management of its facilities and grounds. courant.com, "Community News For The Colchester Edition," 28 Aug. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'relation.' 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 relation

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for relation

Middle English relacion, from Anglo-French, from Latin relation-, relatio, from referre (past participle relatus) to carry back

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Statistics for relation

Last Updated

4 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for relation

The first known use of relation was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for relation

relation

noun

English Language Learners Definition of relation

: the way in which two or more people, groups, countries, etc., talk to, behave toward, and deal with each other
: the way in which two or more people or things are connected
: a person who is a member of your family

relation

noun
re·​la·​tion | \ ri-ˈlā-shən How to pronounce relation (audio) \

Kids Definition of relation

1 : connection sense 2, relationship Doctors studied the relation between sleep and health.
2 : a related person : relative
3 : reference sense 2, respect He'll speak in relation to this matter.
4 relations plural : the interaction between two or more people, groups, or countries foreign relations

relation

noun
re·​la·​tion | \ ri-ˈlā-shən How to pronounce relation (audio) \

Medical Definition of relation

1 : an aspect or quality (as resemblance or causality) that connects two or more things or parts as being or belonging or working together, as being of the same kind, or as being logically connected the strong relation between genotype and phenotype— Anne M. Glazier et al
2 : the attitude or stance which two or more persons or groups assume toward one another race relations
3a : the state of being mutually or reciprocally interested (as in social matters)
b relations plural : sexual intercourse testified that relations had occurredNewsweek

Other Words from relation

relational \ -​əl How to pronounce relational (audio) \ adjective

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Comments on relation

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