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

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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 The nine stories in Likes, Sarah Shun-Lien Bynum’s third book and first collection of short fiction, map this terrain, each exploring the interstices of a different relationship. Wired Staff, Wired, "WIRED’s Ultimate Summer Reading List," 2 July 2020 The largest component of the relationship is the $20 billion worth of electrical machines and equipment India imports from China every year, a haul that includes smartphones. Grady Mcgregor, Fortune, "How India’s ‘Made in China’ boycott could backfire," 30 June 2020 The new world will see more reliance on the artist-mind, reconsideration of the relationship between space and wellbeing, and a contraction of sovereign frontlines. Quartz Staff, Quartz, "Nabila Alibhai says exercising imagination makes us more resilient post-Covid," 30 June 2020 Rocky road is an ice cream flavor but could also describe the future of a new relationship that isn't as sweet. oregonlive, "Horoscope for June 26, 2020: Happy birthday Nick Offerman; Sagittarius, take what you deserve," 26 June 2020 The scams are designed to take advantage of a trustworthy relationship, the release said. Emma Dale, Detroit Free Press, "FBI warns West Michigan residents to be cautious of scammers," 26 June 2020 One familiar type of relationship is when two quantities go up or down in proportion to each other. Eugenia Cheng, WSJ, "Relationships Where More Means Less," 18 June 2020 The show then rewinds several weeks to trace what happened—each episode revealing a new tear in the fabric of the relationship and prompting audiences to contemplate how platonic bonds can change. Hannah Giorgis, The Atlantic, "Insecure Is Finally Growing Up," 18 June 2020 Its fourth season chronicled the all-too-relevant demise of the long-standing relationship between Issa (Rae) and Molly (Yvonne Orji), with each episode spelling out exactly how the ties between the former best friends came undone. Ineye Komonibo,, "Hot Insecure Take: Molly And Issa Have Reached The End Of The Road," 15 June 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.

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First Known Use of relationship

1741, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for relationship

Time Traveler

The first known use of relationship was in 1741

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Statistics for relationship

Last Updated

6 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Relationship.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Jul. 2020.

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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

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