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

Rachel Fox, Mandel JCC's program director in Palm Beach Gardens, noted that the relationship with So Flo Coaching has been great. Sergio Carmona, Jewish Journal, "Soccer clinics at area JCC focus on skills, sportsmanship," 13 July 2018 Insecure thrives on examining the relationship between Issa (Issa Rae) and Molly (Yvonne Orji). Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, "The Love Story of Debbie and Ruth," 10 July 2018 Finding a new relationship between Saturn and its water-bearing moon is a fringe benefit of the mission. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "Saturn and Its Moon Enceladus Talk To Each Other. The Sound Is Perfectly Cosmic and Eerie.," 10 July 2018 Which brings readers back to that all-encompassing ivory bracelet, a mere object that surpasses borders, generations, relationships, social mores – proving to be an unexpected equalizer of sorts. Terry Hong, The Christian Science Monitor, "'What We Were Promised' depicts post-Mao China in a deft debut novel set in Shanghai," 13 July 2018 The time one spends making a decision, whether or not to leave that relationship or grocery line, is not considered part of the sunk cost; only time invested after the decision is made is taken into account. Maya Miller, Scientific American, "Why It’s So Hard to Junk Bad Decisions—Edging Closer to Understanding “Sunk Cost”," 12 July 2018 In this instance, Blair was likely hoping not just that her tweets would go viral, but that out of it would come a new relationship, new followers for all those involved, and perhaps a BuzzFeed job for herself. Rosemary Donahue, Allure, "The Problem With "Plane Bae" and Using Strangers for Entertainment," 11 July 2018 The project, which will center around Elizabeth and Mary's troubled relationship during the 16th century, is set to premiere this December. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Margot Robbie is unrecognizable as Queen Elizabeth I.," 11 July 2018 People can call in to discuss relationships, academics, drug use or more. Aneri Pattani,, "College students train to help peers at risk for suicide, depression and more," 10 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

9 Sep 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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