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

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

(2) : sexual intercourse

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of relation in a Sentence

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

Recent Examples on the Web

Paunovic made eight changes in relation to the lineup that started midweek against the Philadelphia Union with another midweek game coming up in mind, this Wednesday against Louisville City in the U.S. Open Cup quarterfinals at Toyota Park. Juan Pimiento, chicagotribune.com, "10-man Chicago Fire drop their 3rd straight against FC Dallas," 14 July 2018 At least 120 journalists have been killed in the country in relation to their work since the conflict began in 2011, according to CPJ research. Philip Issa, Fox News, "Syrian rebels agree to give up Daraa, cradle of 2011 revolt," 13 July 2018 Thus far no arrests have been made in relation to any of the incidents, which occurred early Thursday morning. Katherine Nails, Philly.com, "1 dead, 6 shot in just more than an hour in Philly," 12 July 2018 At least 120 journalists have been killed in the country in relation to their work since the conflict began in 2011, according to CPJ research. Washington Post, "Syrian government raises its flag over cradle of 2011 revolt," 12 July 2018 The charges are the first in relation to a series of scandals that led to Mr Zuma being forced out of office. The Economist, "Politics this week," 12 July 2018 The trial also illustrated the need for the country’s security agencies to consider far-right ties in relation to cases of violence, John said. Erik Kirschbaum, latimes.com, "German Neo-Nazi found guilty of murder in execution-style slayings of migrants," 11 July 2018 The lecture series, which started last week and runs every Friday this month, also will explore other art history topics in relation to modern concepts such as: Are smartphone selfies an electronic version of a self-portrait? Lisa Maria Garza, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Rollins College class on memes explains to seniors creative ways people get 'snarky' online," 11 July 2018 Nobody else at the facility has been charged in relation to McMaster’s death. Claudia Lauer, The Seattle Times, "Nurse to face trial in fatal fall of McMaster’s father," 9 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about relation

Statistics for relation

Last Updated

6 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for relation

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for relation

relation

noun

English Language Learners Definition of relation

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

noun
re·la·tion | \ ri-ˈlā-shən \

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 \

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 \ adjective

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on relation

What made you want to look up relation? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

alleviating pain or harshness

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!