relation

noun re·la·tion \ ri-ˈlā-shən \

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
4 a (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
7 a :the state of being mutually or reciprocally interested (as in social or commercial matters)
b relations plural
(1) :dealings, intercourse
  • foreign relations

Examples of relation in a Sentence

  1. The incident led to tense international relations.

  2. sexual relations outside of marriage

Recent Examples of relation from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of relation

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



RELATION Defined for English Language Learners

relation

noun

Definition of relation for English Language Learners

  • relations : 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 Defined for Kids

relation

noun re·la·tion \ ri-ˈlā-shən \

Definition of relation for Students

1 :connection 2, relationship
  • Doctors studied the relation between sleep and health.
2 :a related person :relative
3 :reference 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

Medical Dictionary

relation

noun re·la·tion \ ri-ˈlā-shən \

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
3 a :the state of being mutually or reciprocally interested (as in social matters)
b relations plural :sexual intercourse
  • testified that relations had occurred
  • Newsweek

relational

play \-əl\ adjective


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