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

The Irish around the world will mark the anniversary of Patrick’s death this weekend with parades, concerts, poetry readings and lectures, only some of which will bear any relation to the saint’s life and work. Terry Golway, WSJ, "‘Saint Patrick Retold’ Review: The Patron Saint of Ireland," 14 Mar. 2019 Enter Margherita Cardelli, a dynamic brunette with a career in fashion as VIP press relations manager chez Alberta Ferretti and Moschino, and a penchant for tomboyish style. Tiziana Cardini, Vogue, "In a Season of Sensational Runway Tailoring, the Best Investment Might Be a Suit from the Little Italian Label Giuliva Heritage," 6 Mar. 2019 But with the country on the brink of Brexit, the need to build relations is clear. Omid Scobie, Harper's BAZAAR, "How Duchess Meghan Won Morocco’s Heart Just Weeks Before Her Due Date," 26 Feb. 2019 This game is a master class in complex level design, with plenty of interlocking systems and relations that tie together in intricate ways. Kyle Orland, Ars Technica, "Ars Technica’s best games of 2018," 24 Dec. 2018 Here's what's on his itinerary during the trip, according to the Daily Mail: Day One: Attend a reception to celebrate UK-Zambia relations. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "Why Prince Harry Is Missing This Important Anniversary With Meghan Markle," 20 Nov. 2018 Andrew Tull, media relations officer for the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, says both Reagan National (DCA) and Dulles International (IAD) airports have a virtual playbook of options for managing birds. Cynthia Drescher, Condé Nast Traveler, "How Airports Keep Birds Away," 5 Nov. 2018 Penny Peabody is Related to the Coopers Here's another familial relation theory – that Penny Peabody is actually related to the Coopers. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "These "Riverdale" Season 3 Fan Theories Are So Crazy They Might Actually Be True," 24 Sep. 2018 Another relative newcomer, coworker.org, coaches on campaign strategy and media relations. Joseph Menn, The Christian Science Monitor, "Silicon Valley employees increasingly push companies on ethics," 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

22 Mar 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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