What does relation mean?

Definitions for relation
rɪˈleɪ ʃənre·la·tion

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word relation.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. relationnoun

    an abstraction belonging to or characteristic of two entities or parts together

  2. sexual intercourse, intercourse, sex act, copulation, coitus, coition, sexual congress, congress, sexual relation, relation, carnal knowledgenoun

    the act of sexual procreation between a man and a woman; the man's penis is inserted into the woman's vagina and excited until orgasm and ejaculation occur

  3. relative, relationnoun

    a person related by blood or marriage

    "police are searching for relatives of the deceased"; "he has distant relations back in New Jersey"

  4. relation, telling, recountingnoun

    an act of narration

    "he was the hero according to his own relation"; "his endless recounting of the incident eventually became unbearable"

  5. relation back, relationnoun

    (law) the principle that an act done at a later time is deemed by law to have occurred at an earlier time

    "his attorney argued for the relation back of the amended complaint to the time the initial complaint was filed"

  6. relationnoun

    (usually plural) mutual dealings or connections among persons or groups

    "international relations"


  1. relationnoun

    The manner in which two things may be associated.

    The relation between diet and health is complex.

  2. relationnoun

    A member of one's family.

    Yes, he's a relation of mine, but a only distant one.

  3. relationnoun

    The act of relating a story.

    Your relation of the events is different from mine.

  4. relationnoun

    A set of ordered tuples.

  5. relationnoun

    Specifically, a set of ordered pairs.

    Equality is a symmetric relation, while divisibility is not.

  6. relationnoun

    A set of ordered tuples retrievable by a relational database; a table.

    This relation uses the customer's social security number as a key.

  7. relationnoun

    A statement of equality of two products of generators, used in the presentation of a group.

  8. relationnoun

    The act of intercourse

  9. Etymology: From relacioun, from relacion (cognate to French relation), from relationem, accusative of relatio, noun of process form from perfect passive participle relatus, from verb referre, from prefix re- + ferre

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Relationnoun

    Etymology: relation, Fr. from relate.

    Under this stone lies virtue, youth,
    Unblemish’d probity and truth;
    Just unto all relations known,
    A worthy patriot, pious son. Edmund Waller.

    So far as service imports duty and subjection, all created beings bear the necessary relation of servants to God. South.

    Our necessary relations to a family, oblige all to use their reasoning powers upon a thousand occasions. Isaac Watts.

    I have been importuned to make some observations on this art, in relation to its agreement with poetry. Dryden.

    Relation consists in the consideration and comparing one idea with another. John Locke.

    Augurs, that understand relations, have
    By magpies, choughs and rooks brought forth
    The secret’st man of blood. William Shakespeare, Macbeth.

    Relations dear, and all the charities
    Of fathers, son and brother first were known. John Milton.

    Be kindred and relation laid aside,
    And honour’s cause by laws of honour try’d. Dryden.

    Are we not to pity and supply the poor, though they have no relation to us? no relation? that cannot be: the gospel stiles them all our brethren; nay, they have a nearer relation to us, our fellow-members; and both these from their relation to our Saviour himself, who calls them his brethren. Thomas Sprat.

    A she-cousin, of a good family and small fortune, passed months among all her relations. Jonathan Swift.

    Dependants, friends, relations,
    Savag’d by woe, forget the tender tie. James Thomson.

    In an historical relation, we use terms that are most proper. Thomas Burnet, Theory of the Earth.

    The author of a just fable, must please more than the writer of an historical relation. John Dennis, Letters.


  1. relation

    In mathematics, a relation is a set of ordered pairs, defined on a specific set, that relates one element to another element. The term can also refer to the connection or association between two or more concepts, elements, or objects, in various fields such as sociology, linguistics, database, etc. Moreover, in the context of human interaction, a relation refers to the way in which two or more people, groups or things are connected or behave toward each other.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Relationnoun

    the act of relating or telling; also, that which is related; recital; account; narration; narrative; as, the relation of historical events

  2. Relationnoun

    the state of being related or of referring; what is apprehended as appertaining to a being or quality, by considering it in its bearing upon something else; relative quality or condition; the being such and such with regard or respect to some other thing; connection; as, the relation of experience to knowledge; the relation of master to servant

  3. Relationnoun

    reference; respect; regard

  4. Relationnoun

    connection by consanguinity or affinity; kinship; relationship; as, the relation of parents and children

  5. Relationnoun

    a person connected by cosanguinity or affinity; a relative; a kinsman or kinswoman

  6. Relationnoun

    the carrying back, and giving effect or operation to, an act or proceeding frrom some previous date or time, by a sort of fiction, as if it had happened or begun at that time. In such case the act is said to take effect by relation

  7. Relationnoun

    the act of a relator at whose instance a suit is begun

Editors Contribution

  1. Relation

    A member of a family.

    Our sister is a member of our family

    Submitted by MaryC on April 20, 2020  

Surnames Frequency by Census Records


    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Relation is ranked #113155 in terms of the most common surnames in America.

    The Relation surname appeared 155 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 0 would have the surname Relation.

    98% or 152 total occurrences were White.

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'relation' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #3441

  2. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'relation' in Nouns Frequency: #294

Anagrams for relation »

  1. tenorial

  2. oriental

  3. Oriental

  4. tirolean

How to pronounce relation?

How to say relation in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of relation in Chaldean Numerology is: 1

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of relation in Pythagorean Numerology is: 4

Examples of relation in a Sentence

  1. Blaise Pascal:

    For after all what is man in nature? A nothing in relation to infinity, all in relation to nothing, a central point between nothing and all and infinitely far from understanding either. The ends of things and their beginnings are impregnably concealed from him in an impenetrable secret. He is equally incapable of seeing the nothingness out of which he was drawn and the infinite in which he is engulfed.

  2. Thomas Fuller:

    A good friend is my nearest relation.

  3. Bill Browder:

    The United States has very clear laws in relation to mutual legal assistance with Russia, in relation to extradition with Russia and various other things, you have agencies that operate on those laws, and I don't think that there are going to be people who work in the apparatus of the law enforcement agencies of The United States that are going to be going along with a dirty deal with Putin.

  4. Host Alien Life -RSB- Dick:

    There is also the question of what I call astro-ethics, how do you treat alien life? How do you treat it differently, ranging from microbes to intelligence? So we had a philosopher at our symposium talking about the moral status of non-human organisms, talking in relation to animals on Earth and what their status is in relation to us.

  5. Oliver Wendell Holmes:

    Don't flatter yourself that friendship authorizes you to say disagreeable things to your intimates. The nearer you come into relation with a person, the more necessary do tact and courtesy become. Except in cases of necessity, which are rare, leave your friend to learn unpleasant things from his enemies they are ready enough to tell them.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for relation

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

  • علاقةArabic
  • vztah, příbuzný, relaceCzech
  • slægtning, familiemedlemDanish
  • Angehörige, Beziehung, Verwandtschaft, Verwandte, Familienmitglied, Familienangehöriger, Relation, Familienangehörige, Verwandter, AngehörigerGerman
  • relaciones sexuales, relaciónSpanish
  • suheEstonian
  • رابطهPersian
  • omainen, suhde, sukulainen, kertomus, relaatioFinnish
  • parentèle, parent, parentage, parentaille, parente, relationFrench
  • caidreamhIrish
  • संबंधHindi
  • reláció, rokon, viszonyHungarian
  • ազգականArmenian
  • hubunganIndonesian
  • parento, parentino, parentuloIdo
  • parente, relazioneItalian
  • 関係, 関連Japanese
  • په‌یوه‌ندیKurdish
  • relatioLatin
  • kaireperepeMāori
  • ബന്ധംMalayalam
  • slektning, familiemedlem, relasjonNorwegian
  • relatieDutch
  • relasjon, slektning, familiemedlemNorwegian Nynorsk
  • forholdNorwegian
  • relacjaPolish
  • relação, parentePortuguese
  • relație, relatare, narare, povestire, legăturăRomanian
  • повествование, отношение, сообщение, изложение, родственница, рассказ, родственник, связь, зависимостьRussian
  • odnos, relacija, sorodnikSlovene
  • anhörig, familjemedlem, samband, relation, släktingSwedish
  • உறவுTamil
  • సంబంధము, బంధువుTelugu
  • ilişkiTurkish
  • quan hệVietnamese
  • röletanef, hiröletan, jiröletan, röletanVolapük

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"relation." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 8 Dec. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/relation>.

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