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
a : kinship
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

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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.”
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Recent Examples on the Web

Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello have been having intense PDA moments all around North America as fans continue to speculate about their relationship. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello Posted a Video Making Out With a Whole Lot of Tongue on Instagram and I’m SHOOK," 12 Sep. 2019 But just weeks before classes started that year, Awwad was under investigation after a series of anonymous complaints surfaced about his relationship with a subordinate. oregonlive, "One year and $675,000 later, Portland Public Schools settles with former top administrator who dated subordinate," 12 Sep. 2019 Brown’s camp depicts Taylor as knowingly lying about her relationship with Brown in order to inflict harm on his NFL career. Michael Mccann,, "Should the NFL Place Antonio Brown on the Commissioner’s Exempt List?," 12 Sep. 2019 These promises are in the political declaration about the future relationship, not the withdrawal agreement, but backing away from them still sends an unwelcome signal. The Economist, "Europe ponders how to avoid blame for no-deal," 12 Sep. 2019 However, after being mobbed by paparazzi at Yonsei University, Maddox Jolie-Pitt had a few words to say about his relationship with his father, Brad Pitt. Chelsey Sanchez, Harper's BAZAAR, "Maddox Jolie-Pitt Talks About His Relationship with Dad Brad Pitt in a New Video," 11 Sep. 2019 At school, Adam falls in with the kids of the Foundation faculty; the boys among them have a tense and violent relationship with the sons of blue-collar Topekans. Jordan Kisner, The Atlantic, "Boy, Uninterrupted," 10 Sep. 2019 Both pieces are deeply rooted in my relationship with soul and God, and have profoundly impacted my human experience. Sherry Stern, Orange County Register, "Behind the Curtain: Emerging leaders in OC arts and culture," 10 Sep. 2019 Davis’s strong relationships went well beyond the San Diego delegation, and several of her Republican colleagues also commended her in comments to the Union-Tribune. San Diego Union-Tribune, "As Rep. Susan Davis departs, San Diego loses its longest serving member and ‘true public servant’," 8 Sep. 2019

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.

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First Known Use of relationship

1741, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for relationship

Last Updated

7 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for relationship

The first known use of relationship was in 1741

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More Definitions for relationship



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

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