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

Trump said his approach in both North Korea and Russia is to try to forge better relations with the United States. John Wagner, latimes.com, "'Trust me, I'll do just fine,' Trump says about upcoming meeting with Putin," 6 July 2018 Poor Swan was even mistakenly referred to as an interim CEO by his own investor-relations chief during introductions. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Intel CEO Swan says chip shortages will never happen again on his watch," 25 Apr. 2019 Other media reports have suggested that the cat is less a companion and more of a public-relations strategy. Reis Thebault, The Seattle Times, "The mystery of Julian Assange’s cat: Where will it go? What does it know?," 12 Apr. 2019 The end of the INF Treaty could mark a major return to Cold War-level relations between both countries--and new nuclear threats that make both countries less safe. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "As a Key Arms-Control Treaty Is Set to Die, Russia Threatens to Target U.S. with New Nukes," 20 Feb. 2019 So from a public-relations standpoint, the SEC comments and the kerfuffle afterwards were probably a mistake. Elizabeth Lopatto, The Verge, "Elon Musk doesn’t respect the SEC, which is still investigating Tesla," 14 Dec. 2018 Alexander Koerner/Getty Images The arrest of a top executive from Chinese telecommunications company Huawei has added a new layer of tension to the United States’ relations with China. Emily Stewart, Vox, "The arrest of Huawei’s Sabrina Meng is a “warning shot” in US-China relations.," 6 Dec. 2018 And vague language in a disclosure program can not only discourage cooperation but can also lead to public-relations disasters and a damaged reputation with the security community, as happened with drone maker DJI last November. Sean Gallagher, Ars Technica, "New open source effort: Legal code to make reporting security bugs safer," 2 Aug. 2018 The State Department said the visit is intended to demonstrate the strength and importance of U.S.-Mexico relations and the Trump administration’s eagerness to work with the incoming government. Washington Post, "Pompeo travels to Mexico to meet new leftist president-elect," 13 July 2018

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

17 May 2019

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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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