rel·​a·​tiv·​is·​tic | \ˌre-lə-ti-ˈvi-stik \

Definition of relativistic 

1 : of, relating to, or characterized by relativity or relativism

2 : moving at a velocity such that there is a significant change in properties (such as mass) in accordance with the theory of relativity a relativistic electron

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from relativistic

relativistically \ˌre-​lə-​ti-​ˈvi-​sti-​k(ə-​)lē \ adverb

Examples of relativistic in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

That notion has taken root in our relativistic culture. WSJ, "Notable & Quotable: Betsy DeVos," 18 Sep. 2018 CMEs can create a kind of solar wind on steroids, generating shock waves that push energetic particles to relativistic speeds, or velocities that approach the speed of light. Jay Bennett, Popular Mechanics, "The New Science of the Sun Will Be Astounding—And Possibly Terrifying," 9 Aug. 2018 Then there is TeVeS (tensor-vector-scalar), MOND’s relativistic cousin. Katia Moskvitch, WIRED, "Troubled Times for Alternatives to Einstein’s Theory of Gravity," 6 May 2018 One was a single, sharp peak that lasted only 30 microseconds, which suggests an event that comes from an extremely small area of space (in the neighborhood of 10km, although relativistic effects could change that value). John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Whatever causes fast radio bursts is sitting in an intense magnetic field," 15 Jan. 2018 Which is not to imply half the country is purely rational and the other are relativistic nutcases. Christopher Borrelli,, "'Fantasyland' author Kurt Andersen on how Americans believe what they want," 11 Sep. 2017 The strange quark can decay in a way that converts this into a proton, which can be spotted using the detector hardware at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Taking quark-gluon plasma for a spin may un-break a fundamental symmetry," 2 Aug. 2017 The binary nature of American politics often creates cascades of relativistic morality, but 2016 was the Niagara Falls of downward definitions of deviancy. Chris Stirewalt, Fox News, "Relatively deadly," 19 June 2017 No one had successfully modeled how a viscous fluid would act at relativistic speeds, but working with colleagues in the Vanderbilt physics department, Disconzi successfully did it. Yvette Cendes, Discover Magazine, "When Will It be 'Game Over' For the Universe?," 6 Feb. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'relativistic.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of relativistic

1886, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about relativistic

Share relativistic

Statistics for relativistic

Last Updated

26 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for relativistic

The first known use of relativistic was in 1886

See more words from the same year

More from Merriam-Webster on relativistic

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with relativistic

Comments on relativistic

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


a knickknack or trinket

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Find the Cousins

  • a-large-tree-with-many-branches
  • Which pair shares a common word ancestor?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!