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

In contrast, plaintiff’s allegations demonstrate a direct employment relationship with U.C.S. or a particular U.C.S. justice. Vivian Wang, New York Times, "She Sued the State Over Harassment. Then the Gaslighting Began, She Said.," 6 Sep. 2019 Fox writes powerfully about the stresses of living under cover, including what that life does to relationships. Ken Dilanian, NBC News, "Ex-CIA spy readies to publish book about undercover exploits without agency approval," 6 Sep. 2019 In the afternoon, the Friends will celebrate nearly 60 years of the Glendale-Higashiosaka Sister City relationship and the birth of the Shoseian Tea House and Japanese Friendship Garden. Katherine Yamada, Glendale News-Press, "Verdugo Views: Charlie Chaplin’s time filming ‘The Circus’ had comedic moments of its own," 5 Sep. 2019 Facebook Dating, which began rolling out in other countries last year and launches in the US today, gives users ages 18 and up access to a suite of features designed to help them find a meaningful relationship. Wired, "Facebook Dating Is Now Available in the US. Here’s How It Works," 5 Sep. 2019 The rejection was the latest in Wise’s months-long struggle to find permanent housing since moving to the Cleveland area last year, fleeing an abusive relationship. Leila Atassi,, "Even a prominent lawyer, landlord didn’t know University Heights bans discrimination against housing vouchers. Should we blame the city?," 5 Sep. 2019 Lance Sisk said John and Mary’s relationship was one of the best things that ever happened in his nephew’s life. Ashley Remkus |, al, "'I want to know why’: Relatives seek answers after Alabama teen allegedly kills 5 family members," 5 Sep. 2019 Our focus is always on relationships first and character. Chancellor Agard,, "Titans boss previews Superboy's 'fraught' dynamic with the team in season 2," 4 Sep. 2019 Their influence remains evident throughout the city, with longstanding institutions like the Swedish Club, which was formed in 1892 to promote a stronger relationship between the United States and Scandinavian countries. Mary Holland, Condé Nast Traveler, "From Beer Halls to Bakeries, Where to Find Seattle’s Scandinavian Influences," 4 Sep. 2019

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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Statistics for relationship

Last Updated

9 Sep 2019

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 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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Comments on relationship

What made you want to look up relationship? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


one from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan

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