Definition of relation in English:

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Pronunciation: /rɪˈleɪʃ(ə)n/


1The way in which two or more people or things 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
More example sentences
  • It may also be hard to see the relation between cause and effect.
  • If, however, we adopt the second hypothesis, we have to inquire only as to the relation between cause and effect.
  • What is the causal relation between the pattern of division and cell differentiation?
connection, relationship, association, link, correlation, correspondence, parallel, tie-in, tie-up, alliance, bond, interrelation, interconnection;
interdependence of
relevance, applicability, application, reference, pertinence, bearing on, regard
1.1 (relations) The way in which two or more people or groups feel about and behave towards each other: the improvement in relations between the two countries the meetings helped cement Anglo-American relations
More example sentences
  • I think that qualifies as a small step towards improved bilateral relations, don't you?
  • 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.
dealings, associations, communication, relationship, connections, contact, interaction, intercourse
1.2 (relations) formal Sexual intercourse: did you always have good, healthy relations with your wife?
More example sentences
  • Sexual relations with anyone but the legitimate spouse, as noted above, were and are still deemed illicit.
  • Sexual relations between adult and child were seen as benefitting the child rather than gratifying the adult.
  • Sexual relations have ceased after the death in infancy of their son some years before.
2A person who is connected by blood or marriage; a relative: he has no close relations
More example sentences
  • Had he not been his brother and his closest relation, he would have murdered him in cold blood.
  • 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.
  • The definition does not include your cousins or any relations by marriage.
relative, member of someone's/the family, one's (own) flesh and blood, next of kin;
(relations) family, kin, kith and kin, kindred
formal kinsman, kinswoman
3 [mass noun] The action of telling a story.
Example sentences
  • 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.


in relation to

In the context of; in connection with: there is an ambiguity in the provisions in relation to children’s hearings
More example sentences
  • It is the provision in relation to danger to the public safety or to the peace which was relied on in both cases.
  • 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.


Middle English: from Old French, or from Latin relatio(n-), from referre 'bring back' (see relate).

Words that rhyme with relation

ablation, aeration, agnation, Alsatian, Amerasian, Asian, aviation, cetacean, citation, conation, creation, Croatian, counterdemonstration, counterproliferation, crustacean, curation, Dalmatian, delation, dilation, donation, duration, elation, fixation, Galatian, geolocation, glocalization, gyration, Haitian, halation, Horatian, ideation, illation, lavation, legation, libation, location, lunation, mutation, natation, nation, negation, notation, nutation, oblation, oration, ovation, potation, rogation, rotation, Sarmatian, sedation, Serbo-Croatian, station, staycation, taxation, Thracian, vacation, vexation, vocation, zonation

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: re|la¦tion

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