rel·a·tive·ly | \ ˈre-lə-tiv-lē \

Definition of relatively 

: to a relative degree or extent : somewhat a relatively small group of people relatively cool weather The house is relatively new.

relatively speaking

1 : when compared to others that are similar The procedure was quick, relatively speaking. Relatively speaking, the movie wasn't bad.>

2 used to say that something is true or correct as a general statement even if it is not entirely true or correct The trip was, relatively speaking, a disaster.

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Examples of relatively in a Sentence

these newly acquired in-laws felt relatively comfortable at our family reunion

Recent Examples on the Web

Some plants, such as cycads in the Ancient Forest, remained relatively unscathed thanks to their naturally waxy surface, while other flowers’ dark pigmentation provided protection from the sun. Sara Cardine,, "Acres of historic camellias at Descanso Gardens scorched during weekend’s triple-digit heat," 12 July 2018 Related For all the high stakes, this fight could be relatively short, because Republicans hope to confirm the nominee by early October, when the Supreme Court’s next term begins. Julie Bykowicz, WSJ, "Outside Groups Plan Costly Campaigns for—or Against—Supreme Court Nominee Brett Kavanaugh," 9 July 2018 Potentially working against Barrett is her relatively short tenure in federal court. CBS News, "Judge Brett Kavanaugh named Trump's second Supreme Court justice - live updates," 9 July 2018 Headliners has been home to a number of relatively unknown bands that now boast international profiles, such as Kings of Leon, Old Crow Medicine Show and My Morning Jacket. Jeffrey Lee Puckett, The Courier-Journal, "Headliners is turning 20 and they're celebrating with a bang," 4 July 2018 Drivers caught in the Monday morning rush were relatively unscathed by the closure, too. Holly V. Hays, Indianapolis Star, "Commuters not bothered by huge I-65 closures," 2 July 2018 Star formation happens on relatively short timescales, while galaxy-galaxy interactions occur on longer timescales; both are fundamental to shaping a galaxy. Smithsonian, "Andean Solstice Celebrations Capture the Wondrous Churn of Spacetime," 22 June 2018 Although the Spanish destroyed the temple's final phase, the smaller temples from earlier reigns were paved over but left relatively unscathed. Lizzie Wade, Science | AAAS, "Feeding the gods: Hundreds of skulls reveal massive scale of human sacrifice in Aztec capital," 21 June 2018 Like any Advanced Placement course, AP World History is intense, requiring students to absorb lots of sophisticated, detail-laden information in a relatively short amount of time: usually, a single year of high school. Alia Wong, The Atlantic, "The Controversy Over Just How Much History AP World History Should Cover," 13 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'relatively.' 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 relatively

15th century, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

14 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for relatively

The first known use of relatively was in the 15th century

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English Language Learners Definition of relatively

: when compared to others

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Comments on relatively

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


to deposit or conceal in a hiding place

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