re·​la·​tion·​ship | \ ri-ˈlā-shən-ˌship How to pronounce relationship (audio) \

Definition of relationship

1 : the state of being related or interrelated studied the relationship between the variables
2 : the relation connecting or binding participants in a relationship: such as
b : a specific instance or type of kinship
3a : a state of affairs existing between those having relations or dealings had a good relationship with his family
b : a romantic or passionate attachment

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of relationship in a Sentence

The relationship between the two countries has improved. She has a close relationship with her sister. She has had many bad relationships. I am not in a relationship right now. the relationship between mental and physical health “What is your relationship to the witness?” “He is my father.”
See More
Recent Examples on the Web Adi enjoyed the best scoring period of his MLS career under Porter at Portland, so there's an existing relationship and a history of compatibility. Pat Brennan,, "MLS: Fanendo Adi headed to FC Cincinnati rival Columbus Crew SC," 25 Jan. 2020 Prince Harry has expressed his adamancy in making sure the mega-popular Netflix series doesn’t portray his and wife Duchess Meghan’s relationship and tabloid turmoil for the television screen. Bianca Betancourt, Harper's BAZAAR, "Prince Harry Does Not Want to See an On-Screen Portrayal of His Life on The Crown," 22 Jan. 2020 After the Revolutionary War, America’s relationship to Indianness changed. Jennifer Percy, Harper's magazine, "The Skinning Tree," 20 Jan. 2020 Last year, the company celebrated 40 years of the initial result of that relationship: Danner Light, the first Gore-Tex boot. Tim Newcomb, Popular Mechanics, "Everything That Goes Into Making a Danner Boot," 20 Jan. 2020 When her role with the organization was announced a year ago, royal reporter had larger implications for Harry and Meghan's working relationship with the Commonwealth. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "What Will Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's New Roles in the British Commonwealth Look Like?," 19 Jan. 2020 Apple Card behind the scenes During an earnings call this week, Goldman Sachs talked about its relationship with Apple on the Apple Card credit card. Don Reisinger, Fortune, "Apple locks down a $200 million A.I. investment, as the Trump administration demands keys to the iPhone’s ‘backdoor’," 18 Jan. 2020 This will be the second season for McHale and Ushkowitz — the two started recording Showmance last March to chat about their relationship on- and off-screen. Lynette Rice,, "Kevin McHale and Jenna Ushkowitz are hosting a Glee recap podcast," 11 Jan. 2020 Whatever the reason, the cancellation will probably spell the end of Mosiman’s career in the festival business, explained Niland, who is expected to testify at trial about his own relationship with Gordon and his professional experience in music. Dave Brooks, Billboard, "'Thunder on the Mountain' Emails Offer Rare Inside Look At the Final Days of a Doomed Festival," 10 Jan. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'relationship.' 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 relationship

1741, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about relationship

Time Traveler for relationship

Time Traveler

The first known use of relationship was in 1741

See more words from the same year

Statistics for relationship

Last Updated

28 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Relationship.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 29 January 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for relationship


How to pronounce relationship (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of relationship

: the way in which two or more people, groups, countries, etc., talk to, behave toward, and deal with each other
: a romantic or sexual friendship between two people
: the way in which two or more people or things are connected


re·​la·​tion·​ship | \ ri-ˈlā-shən-ˌship How to pronounce relationship (audio) \

Kids Definition of relationship

1 : the state of being related or connected
2 : connection by common ancestry or marriage
3 : the state of interaction between two or more people, groups, or countries The sisters have a close relationship.


re·​la·​tion·​ship | \ -shən-ˌship How to pronounce relationship (audio) \

Medical Definition of relationship

1 : the state of being related or interrelated research into the relationship between diet, blood, cholesterol levels, and coronary heart diseaseCurrent Biography
2a : a state of affairs existing between those having relations or dealings called on to assume the role of personal advisor in the doctor-patient relationshipJournal of the American Medical Association
b : an emotional attachment between individuals a meaningful relationship

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on relationship

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


to assert without proof or before proving

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

January 2020 Words of the Day Quiz

  • image1642096650
  • Which is a synonym of bonhomie?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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