re·​la·​tion·​ship | \ri-ˈlā-shən-ˌship \

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

And Tuesday night, November 13, Tatum seemed to confirm his rumored relationship with singer Jessie J via an Instagram post. Abby Gardner, Glamour, "It Sure Looks Like Channing Tatum and Jessie J Are Instagram Official," 14 Nov. 2018 As Zoë mentioned in the interview, the couple prefer to keep their relationship fairly private, and only tend to share the occasional loved up photo on Instagram. Lucy Wood, Marie Claire, "Who is Karl Glusman? Zoë Kravtiz Confirms She's Been Secretly Engaged to the Actor For Months," 30 Oct. 2018 But what about the way our relationships with our own bodies change after a miscarriage? Dr. Jessica Zucker, Harper's BAZAAR, "Masturbation After Miscarriage: 14 Women Share Their Stories," 30 Oct. 2018 Prince Harry started the games in 2014 as a passion project, and over the course of their relationship, Meghan too, has become involved in the organization. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Meghan Markle Just Gave a Moving Speech About Being Welcomed Into the Invictus Games Family," 27 Oct. 2018 Dirty Couple Game Awkward name syntax aside, this is a perfect early-relationship game—like an icebreaker for new couples. Rebecca Reid, Marie Claire, "I Tried 11 Sex Apps to Spice Up My Marriage," 11 July 2018 Trump's laser-focus on Germany has unsettled Berlin, which had grown accustomed to a strong relationship with then-president Obama. Michael Birnbaum, Anchorage Daily News, "Trump says Germany 'is captive to Russia' in fiery opening salvo against NATO," 11 July 2018 One of those relationships is with her former coach. Kelli Stacy,, "Former UConn Star Diana Taurasi Happy To Be Back In Connecticut," 13 July 2018 Prejudice against people with opioid and other substance use disorders can lead to job loss and rupture of important relationships. Melissa Stein, STAT, "Privacy laws are hurting the care of patients with addiction," 13 July 2018

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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Last Updated

18 Nov 2018

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 \

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 \

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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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).


by force of circumstances

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