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 queen, which typically bears no relation to the other honeybees, stays separated in a cage. Blair Donovan, Country Living, "Beekeeping for Beginners: Everything to Know About Starting Your Own Colony," 5 Apr. 2019 The president also blamed the special counsel’s probe into Russian meddling for harming U.S.-Russian relations. John Fritze, USA TODAY, "Russian indictments come days before Trump's first summit with Putin," 13 July 2018 And yet the phallus is a dominant symbol of the moment, as metonym for power but also an object of ridicule as gender relations shift. Vogue, "Radical Feminist Artist Renate Bertlmann Exhibits Dildos in Dresses at Her First Solo Show Stateside," 1 Apr. 2019 Advertising The statement reiterated the Spanish government’s willingness to work closely with Mexico to strengthen friendly and cooperative relations and tackle future challenges. Maria Verza, The Seattle Times, "Mexico president asks Spain, Pope to apologize for conquest," 25 Mar. 2019 The arrest of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou for violating Iran sanctions is already rattling relations (with Canada caught in the middle), with the US sending a warning shot to China over broader fears of Chinese espionage. Jen Kirby, Vox, "The 7 biggest foreign news stories to watch in 2019, from Brexit to North Korea," 24 Dec. 2018 Nearly three decades after the war, a number of unresolved issues still plague relations among the former Yugoslav republics, while nations stick to their own versions of what happened and who were the victims. Washington Post, "Mixed emotions in Balkans over Croatia’s World Cup success," 13 July 2018 Andrew Abboud, vice president for government relations and community development for Las Vegas Sands, gave the single largest contribution to GOPAC Inc. during the period examined — $250,000 on Sept. 30, 2016. Tom Loftus, The Courier-Journal, "A GOP group influential in Kentucky is funded by tobacco and casinos," 13 July 2018 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

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

19 Apr 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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