Definition of relation in US English:



  • 1The way in which two or more concepts, objects, or people are connected; a thing's effect on or relevance to another.

    ‘questions about the relation between writing and reality’
    ‘the size of the targets bore no relation to their importance’
    • ‘What is the causal relation between the pattern of division and cell differentiation?’
    • ‘Rather, they involve a relation between a believer and a thought believed.’
    • ‘We used a sensitivity analysis to test the effect of different assumptions on the relation between income and management costs.’
    • ‘Such an analysis obscures the relation between miscarriages at different stages of gestation and maternal age.’
    • ‘Secondly, there is the lack of emotion in relations between husband and wife and between parents and children.’
    • ‘If, however, we adopt the second hypothesis, we have to inquire only as to the relation between cause and effect.’
    • ‘Our findings suggest a causal relation between second teenage birth and adverse pregnancy outcome.’
    • ‘But when it comes to the relation between sense and reference, the analogy could mislead.’
    • ‘Thus organic bodies vary when they move into new relations with each other and with the inorganic environment.’
    • ‘Hence the assertion of a causal relation between physical and mental events is inherently paradoxical, perhaps even incoherent.’
    • ‘It may also be hard to see the relation between cause and effect.’
    • ‘Dimensions of quality space can vary in their dependence relations on each other.’
    • ‘The present study does not offer a causal relation between primary hyperparathyroidism and the development of renal stone disease.’
    • ‘This indicates a causal relation between the two, but that leaves three possibilities’
    • ‘His words of lament emphasize the inalienable relation of father to daughter or bride to homeland.’
    • ‘In addition, symbolic beliefs did not mediate the relation between prior contact and attitudes for either group.’
    • ‘A causal relation between asthma and obesity is supported by data from cohort studies.’
    • ‘Together with the supposed necessary truth, it implies the obtaining of the causal relation between agent and action.’
    • ‘Therefore, in our study, symbolic beliefs do not mediate the relation between prior contact and attitudes.’
    • ‘How would you regard the relation between your critical and poetic activities?’
    connection, relationship, association, link, correlation, correspondence, parallel, tie-in, tie-up, alliance, bond, interrelation, interconnection
    relevance, applicability, application, reference, pertinence, bearing on, regard
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    1. 1.1relations The way in which two or more people or groups feel about and behave toward each other.
      ‘the improvement in relations between the two countries’
      ‘the meetings helped cement Anglo-American relations’
      • ‘He's not evil, just understandably screwed up by the failure of his marriage and the continuing decline in relations with his mother.’
      • ‘It would also be interesting to examine other areas of family conflict and parent-child relations.’
      • ‘The marriage stabilized relations between the English and Powhatans until after her death.’
      • ‘Slovenes maintain close relations with their parents, siblings, and extended families.’
      • ‘During prepubescence, relations between brothers and sisters are free and easy.’
      • ‘Her uncle cut off all relations with her parents, who supported her decision to enter the academy.’
      • ‘She never had close relations with her mother, who abhorred the nature of Mafia business and stayed away from any criminal activity.’
      • ‘Inmates also enjoy better relations with each other.’
      • ‘Nor should a parent instill disrespect in a child for the other parent as this may well undermine a child's relations with that parent.’
      • ‘Your wisdom and intuition take you towards better relations with people.’
      • ‘We are all the same people, but our relations with each other have changed.’
      • ‘It defines social relations, possible marriage partners, and often jobs as well.’
      • ‘I think that qualifies as a small step towards improved bilateral relations, don't you?’
      • ‘Customs centering on marriage and gender relations are hotly debated.’
      • ‘In the UK's hour of greatest need, Churchill's relations with Roosevelt were conducted with tact and a great sureness of touch.’
      • ‘They also recognise the importance of a considered approach towards employee relations.’
      • ‘Bronfenbrenner indicated the need for closer relations between schools and families.’
      • ‘Accordingly, the husband determined the marital domicile and was the dominant figure in the relation of parent and child.’
      • ‘They want a security guarantee, formal diplomatic relations with the US, and tons of money, food, and oil.’
      • ‘After a mother dies, relations between her children are often not close.’
      dealings, associations, communication, relationship, connections, contact, interaction, intercourse
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    2. 1.2relationsformal Sexual intercourse.
      ‘we had stopped having relations of any kind’
      ‘they can take vows of chastity, and give up sexual relations entirely’
      • ‘Sexual relations have ceased after the death in infancy of their son some years before.’
      • ‘If a father committed incestuous relations with his daughter, he would be banished.’
      • ‘At the same time, it doesn't exploit lesbian relations as a kinky fad.’
      • ‘Monogamy and legal marriage are the norm, but extramarital and premarital relations are common.’
      • ‘Sexual relations with anyone but the legitimate spouse, as noted above, were and are still deemed illicit.’
      • ‘Elsewhere, he reiterated the biblical and natural law arguments against homosexual relations.’
      • ‘Sexual relations between men and young children played no part in Greek pederasty.’
      • ‘Serials in which extramarital relations and marital problems are shown, tend to have a worse effect on the psyche of a child.’
      • ‘If the world had more of an open mind about gay and lesbian relations there wouldn't be as much commotion about the subject at hand.’
      • ‘Sex is wonderful, but he has another woman he has relations with, and we all live in the same building.’
      • ‘Do you promise to moan continually about lack of conjugal relations?’
      • ‘Sexual relations between secondary school students and their teachers should not be tolerated.’
      • ‘Sexual relations between adult and child were seen as benefitting the child rather than gratifying the adult.’
      • ‘Sexual relations are right and proper only within marriage.’
      • ‘Sexual relations were not for pleasure but for the production of children only.’
      • ‘Sexual relations with children may not ever have been precisely an accepted or approved practice.’
      • ‘Some people are looking for a serious relationship, while some just want to chat, date or have casual relations.’
      sex, sexual intercourse, intercourse, lovemaking, making love, sex act, anal penetration, sexual penetration, vaginal penetration
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  • 2A person who is connected by blood or marriage; a kinsman or kinswoman.

    ‘she was no relation at all, but he called her Aunt Nora’
    • ‘Parents, uncles, aunts, and relations were present for the memorable occasion.’
    • ‘He is survived by his nephews, nieces, brother-in-law, sister-in-law and by other relations.’
    • ‘We extend to all her sons, daughters, grandchildren, relations and friends our heartfelt sympathy.’
    • ‘The definition does not include your cousins or any relations by marriage.’
    • ‘Had he not been his brother and his closest relation, he would have murdered him in cold blood.’
    • ‘He is mourned by his wife Marie, children, grandchildren and relations.’
    • ‘At this stage, I was finding it upsetting, seeing a close relation, who once knew me well, so disorientated.’
    • ‘They didn't even look like distant relations of each other, much less the same person.’
    • ‘The man he had ordered killed must have been a close relation of hers; most likely her father.’
    • ‘She is survived by her sons, daughters, brother, grandchildren, nephews, nieces and by other relations.’
    • ‘He is survived by his sister Margaret in England, nephew and niece, relations, neighbours and friends.’
    • ‘The majority are fathers, brothers, uncles, relations, neighbours or babysitters.’
    • ‘We extend sincere sympathy to his mother Maisie, sister and brothers, relations and many friends.’
    • ‘Sincere sympathy is extended to his nieces, nephews and relations.’
    • ‘Sympathy is extended to his wife, family, relations and friends.’
    • ‘Are many of your relations students, available only during the holidays or the summer?’
    • ‘Perhaps there is comfort here for anyone who dreads the death of a close relation.’
    • ‘She is survived by her husband, sons, mother, brothers, sisters, nephews, nieces and other relations.’
    • ‘This means that we all know and probably have a close relation who has had an abortion in England.’
    • ‘He is survived by his wife Tess, three sons and two daughters, family relations and a host of friends he made through the music business.’
    relative, member of someone's family, member of the family, one's flesh and blood, one's own flesh and blood, next of kin
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  • 3The action of telling a story.

    • ‘She is calumniated by some people, who think the relation of this story to be a reflection.’
    • ‘Their death lives on in the relation of this story.’
    enumeration, list, litany, catalogue, listing, detailing, itemizing, specification
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  • in relation to

    • In the context of; in connection with.

      ‘there is an ambiguity in the provisions in relation to children's hearings’
      • ‘I will let him make his own application in relation to that, but it will be resisted in due course.’
      • ‘It is the provision in relation to danger to the public safety or to the peace which was relied on in both cases.’
      • ‘We do not see why they cannot be a relevant factor in relation to this issue as well.’
      • ‘The next item that is criticised is the instructions of counsel in relation to that.’
      • ‘Would you just concentrate on the time in relation to which you gave the answer.’
      • ‘They fixed their policy in relation to that of the home market and home government.’
      • ‘We think it right to construe it in relation to what one would normally think of as legal costs.’
      • ‘That is all you could be asked to provide by way of evidence in relation to that.’
      • ‘That seems to me to be a perfectly proper direction in relation to the provision.’
      • ‘A preliminary reference can be made in relation to three types of subject matter.’
      regarding, concerning, with reference to, referring to, with regard to, with respect to, respecting, relating to, in relation to, on, touching on, dealing with, relevant to, with relevance to, in the context of, connected with, on the subject of, in the matter of, apropos, re
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Middle English: from Old French, or from Latin relatio(n-), from referre ‘bring back’ (see relate).