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 Touch is central to the doctor/patient relationship., 11 June 2021 The staff member also reported their belief that the relationship had gone on for five months between September 2020 to January 2021, Manautou said. Joe Mario Pedersen,, 10 June 2021 For the Biden administration, which is trying to pass a raft of pro-climate measures at home, international climate action is a chance to heal the tattered U.S.-E.U. relationship. Ciara Nugent, Time, 10 June 2021 Then there is the question of the establishment of the symbiotic relationship with mycorrhizal fungi. Jeff Lowenfels, Anchorage Daily News, 10 June 2021 The term was coined by Prime Minister Winston Churchill after World War II to describe the UK-US relationship, and it's often used to illustrate the warm personal dynamic between leaders of the two countries. Maegan Vazquez, CNN, 10 June 2021 Many experts here say Europe is becoming ever more the junior partner in the trans-Atlantic relationship. NBC News, 9 June 2021 White House officials say the president has no intention of trying to reset the relationship with Russia. New York Times, 9 June 2021 June 1 meeting doesn’t sever the relationship right away, and a meeting has been scheduled for June 24 between officials from the bureau and village. Mike Nolan,, 9 June 2021

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

13 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Relationship.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Jun. 2021.

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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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