Definition of relate in English:

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Pronunciation: /rɪˈleɪt/


[with object]
1Make or show a connection between: the study examines social change within the city and relates it to developments in the country as a whole a supercomputer could relate all those factors
More example sentences
  • The third strand of poverty research relates individual and structural factors.
  • In one sense modern medicine concurs in this association, by directly relating hyperventilation to a disturbed psychological state.
  • The trick is maintaining the connection between singer and listener, relating the songs' private pain to an audience's.
connect (with), associate (with), link (with), correlate (with), ally (with), couple (with), bracket (with);
bring together, find/establish a connection between, find/establish a relationship between, find/establish a link between, find/establish an association between, find/establish a correspondence between
1.1 (be related) Be causally connected: high unemployment is related to high crime rates
More example sentences
  • As time passes, it becomes difficult to eliminate the possibility that, even though the discomfort was not related to a blockage in the past it might currently be related.
  • Specifically, whereas it was obviously essential for entry information to be related to individuals, information about employment trends need not be so related.
  • The study of how family structure affects youth outcomes is complicated by the fact that family structure may be correlated with poor outcomes for youth, but not be causally related.
1.2 (be related) Be connected by blood or marriage: he was related to my mother people who are distantly related
More example sentences
  • Other performers, not related by blood or marriage, had symbiotic or coincidental careers that linked them in the audience's mind.
  • They were the husbands and sons of Sarah's neighbors, and in many cases were related by blood or marriage.
  • Aboriginal social organization is based on a set of obligations between individuals who are related by blood or marriage.
1.3 [no object] (relate to) Have reference to; concern: the new legislation related to corporate activities
More example sentences
  • Kelly said there were a number of issues relating to the development that concerned her.
  • This, she said, would raise a number of issues relating to the trust's concerns.
  • There are no issues that give concern relating to any of Jean's previous employment.
apply to, be relevant to, have relevance to, concern, refer to, have reference to, belong to, pertain to, be pertinent to, have to do with, bear on, have a bearing on, appertain to, affect, involve, cover, touch
archaic regard
2 [no object] (relate to) Feel sympathy for or identify with: kids related to him because he was so rebellious
More example sentences
  • There's nothing in the story that a child can actually relate to and identify with.
  • I think the maturity the show needs is beginning to be developed as we begin to empathise and relate to the characters more.
  • Jamal avoids the ghetto rap cool dude attitude and Brown relates to that, comfortable in low-key.
have a rapport with, get on (well) with, respond to, sympathize with, feel sympathy with, feel for, identify with, empathize with, connect with, understand, speak the same language as, be in tune with, be on the same wavelength as
informal hit it off with
3Give an account of; narrate: various versions of the story have been related by the locals
More example sentences
  • The report relates D.'s account to Dr Friedman of his personal history and gives his account of details of sexual abuse of him.
  • Attestations of his uncanny powers as well as arguments that question them are found in a report of a narrative related by a man named Bartley Coen.
  • It is set in 1950's Chicago, and the story is related by narrator Wils Ravan as he recalls being nineteen on the North Shore, and his summer job as a copy boy for a downtown paper.
tell, recount, narrate, give an account of, describe;
portray, depict, paint, unfold, set forth, present, report, chronicle, outline, delineate, retail, recite, repeat, rehearse, relay, convey, communicate, impart, spin;
detail, enumerate, list, specify, itemize, cite, particularize, catalogue


Mid 16th century: from Latin relat- 'brought back', from the verb referre (see refer).

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: re¦late

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