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

Another issue involves highly contentious relations between Harp and the board of education. Christopher Keating, courant.com, "In a rematch, Mayor Toni Harp faces Justin Elicker in New Haven election," 8 July 2019 The row comes at a difficult time in Anglo-Iranian relations. Time, "British Marines Seize Supertanker Carrying Iranian Oil to Syria, Causing Diplomatic Row," 4 July 2019 Last year, Syrian forces accidentally shot down a Russian military plane after an Israeli airstrike on Syrian territory, causing a temporary crisis in Israeli-Russian relations. Isabel Kershner, BostonGlobe.com, "Israel is blamed for deadly missile strikes in Syria," 1 July 2019 Last year, Syrian forces accidentally shot down a Russian military plane after an Israeli airstrike on Syrian territory, causing a temporary crisis in Israeli-Russian relations. Isabel Kershner, New York Times, "Israel Is Blamed for Deadly Missile Strikes in Syria," 1 July 2019 Despite the diplomatic freeze Putin appeared hopeful of a thawing in relations. NBC News, "Russia's Vladimir Putin: Liberalism in Europe is 'obsolete'," 28 June 2019 Today, the deepest split in U.S. relations with its transatlantic allies is over Iran policy. Robin Wright, The New Yorker, "Trump Sanctions Iran’s Supreme Leader, but to What End?," 25 June 2019 Boles, who works in government relations for Salem Health and has previously worked as a legislative aide, did not seek a full term in the Oregon House at that time. oregonlive.com, "State Rep. Denyc Boles selected to replace the late Sen. Jackie Winters," 25 June 2019 Last year, Putin answered a question about former Russian spy and double agent Sergei Skripal, whose poisoning in the UK has led to a deterioration in relations between the two countries. Adam Rasmi, Quartz, "What to expect from Putin’s hours-long annual Q&A with Russians," 19 June 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

12 Jul 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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