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

Also relationship-building between me and the subjects. Eric Johnson, Recode, "Full Q&A: Ezra Klein and Kara Swisher on the future of journalism," 12 Dec. 2018 As this all unfolded, Trump and Putin’s relationship continued to raise eyebrows as Trump repeatedly tweeted out his support and compliments toward the Russian president. Emily Bloch, Teen Vogue, "The Russia Investigation Is Almost Over. Here's What You Need to Know," 8 Dec. 2018 The split comes as a shock to many Cardi and Offset fans, considering the rappers have frequently displayed their love and affection for each other with no (clear) signs of relationship struggles. Rachel Epstein, Marie Claire, "Cardi B Explains Why She and Offset Broke Up," 5 Dec. 2018 Dancing With the Stars fans and relationship shippers of Alexis Ren and Alan Bersten are not going to like what Alan and fellow pro dancer Witney Carson said about the pair. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "'Dancing With the Stars' Pro Hints That Alexis Ren and Alan Bersten Won’t Last," 5 Dec. 2018 Seattle’s complicated relationship with the company has been a source of wealth and worry for citizens. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "Amazon HQ2 winner appears to be both New York and Crystal City, Virginia," 6 Nov. 2018 Still, this week could show just how dissatisfied Congress really is with the Yemen war and America’s relationship with Saudi Arabia as a whole — and how Trump has handled both. Alex Ward, Vox, "Exclusive: 50+ experts and former officials urge the Senate to end US role in Yemen war," 27 Nov. 2018 Meghan Opens Up Markle spoke openly about her relationship for the first time in the October 2017 issue of Vanity Fair. Morgan Evans, Town & Country, "A Definitive History of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's Royal Relationship," 15 Oct. 2018 Instead, the gifts opened the door to long-term relationships with the women. Serena Solomon, Woman's Day, "Breast Cancer Changed Ronda Carter's Life; Now, She's Doing the Same for Others," 24 Sep. 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

16 Dec 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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