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

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.” See More
Recent Examples on the Web Both are equally important to any lasting relationship. Carolyn Hax, Washington Post, 10 Aug. 2022 Lovato’s die-hard followers flooded the comments section of the post, eagerly tying the song’s accusatory lyrics to her relationship with actor Wilmer Valderrama. Glenn Rowley, Billboard, 9 Aug. 2022 Labeling food like that can actually contribute to a poor relationship with food and body, though, Hanson said. Madeline Holcombe, CNN, 8 Aug. 2022 The sheriff’s office was contacted by the Arkansas Crimes Against Children Hotline on April 4 in reference to a possible inappropriate relationship between Vann and a student, according to a sheriff’s office news release. Arkansas Online, 8 Aug. 2022 Experts said the key to a healthier relationship with families while living in a digital age still starts with communication and cooperation. William Kim, ABC News, 8 Aug. 2022 As for the secret to their successful relationship? Grace Gavilanes, Peoplemag, 3 Aug. 2022 But there may be more to the Taliban’s variable relationship with Islamist militants, and, in fact, with the Americans, including the possibility the Taliban are making real efforts, in their own manner, to curb attacks. Scott Peterson, The Christian Science Monitor, 3 Aug. 2022 When the two left a dinner with Dave during the tournament, Bouvia urged Soutar to speak with him, which ultimately led to a relationship. oregonlive, 2 Aug. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of relationship

1741, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for relationship

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The first known use of relationship was in 1741

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Last Updated

12 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Relationship.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for relationship


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

More from Merriam-Webster on relationship

Nglish: Translation of relationship for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of relationship for Arabic Speakers


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