relation

Relation is a word that can describe a connection — between relatives or any two entities. You might consider your cousin as your relation, and you might have strained relations with him over your grandmother's estate.

The way that one thing affects another is their relation like the relation between childhood poverty and poor nutrition, for example. You can also call your relative a relation, as when you describe your great-grandfather as your oldest living relation. The phrase no relation means that even though two people share the same last name, they are not related — or aren't relations.

Definitions of relation
  1. noun
    an abstraction belonging to or characteristic of two entities or parts together
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    types:
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    possession
    anything owned or possessed
    social relation
    a relation between living organisms (especially between people)
    position, spatial relation
    the spatial property of a place where or way in which something is situated
    ownership
    the relation of an owner to the thing possessed; possession with the right to transfer possession to others
    causality
    the relation between causes and effects
    human relationship, relationship
    a relation between people; (`relationship' is often used where `relation' would serve, as in `the relationship between inflation and unemployment', but the preferred usage of `relationship' is for human relations or states of relatedness)
    function
    a relation such that one thing is dependent on another
    association
    a relation resulting from interaction or dependence
    logical relation
    a relation between propositions
    mathematical relation
    a relation between mathematical expressions (such as equality or inequality)
    foundation
    the basis on which something is grounded
    connectedness, connection, connexion
    a relation between things or events (as in the case of one causing the other or sharing features with it)
    unconnectedness
    the lack of a connection between things
    linguistic relation
    a relation between linguistic forms or constituents
    component, component part, constituent, moiety, part, portion
    something determined in relation to something that includes it
    affinity, kinship
    a close connection marked by community of interests or similarity in nature or character
    family relationship, kinship, relationship
    (anthropology) relatedness or connection by blood or marriage or adoption
    magnitude relation, quantitative relation
    a relation between magnitudes
    control
    a relation of constraint of one entity (thing or person or group) by another
    business relation
    a relation between different business enterprises
    reciprocality, reciprocity
    a relation of mutual dependence or action or influence
    interrelatedness, interrelation, interrelationship
    mutual or reciprocal relation or relatedness
    temporal relation
    a relation involving time
    comparison
    relation based on similarities and differences
    oppositeness, opposition
    the relation between opposed entities
    change
    a relational difference between states; especially between states before and after some event
    substance
    the real physical matter of which a person or thing consists
    occlusion
    (dentistry) the normal spatial relation of the teeth when the jaws are closed
    inclination, lean, leaning, list, tilt
    the property possessed by a line or surface that departs from the vertical
    gradient, slope
    the property possessed by a line or surface that departs from the horizontal
    arrangement, placement
    the spatial property of the way in which something is placed
    point of view
    the spatial property of the position from which something is observed
    coincidence
    the quality of occupying the same position or area in space
    dead center, dead centre
    the position of a crank when it is in line with the connecting rod and not exerting torque
    centrality
    the property of being central
    marginality
    the property of being marginal or on the fringes
    anteriority
    the quality of being in front or (in lower animals) toward the head
    posteriority
    the quality of being toward the back or toward the rear end
    exteriority, externality, outwardness
    the quality or state of being outside or directed toward or relating to the outside or exterior
    interiority, inwardness
    the quality or state of being inward or internal
    malposition, misplacement
    faulty position
    northernness
    the property of being to the north
    southernness
    the property of being to the south
    horizontality
    the quality of being parallel to the horizon
    erectness, uprightness, verticality, verticalness
    position at right angles to the horizon
    language unit, linguistic unit
    one of the natural units into which linguistic messages can be analyzed
    slot
    a position in a grammatical linguistic construction in which a variety of alternative units are interchangeable
    item, point
    a distinct part that can be specified separately in a group of things that could be enumerated on a list
    butt
    the part of a plant from which the roots spring or the part of a stalk or trunk nearest the roots
    community
    common ownership
    severalty
    exclusive individual ownership
    property right
    the legal right of ownership
    proprietary, proprietorship
    an unincorporated business owned by a single person who is responsible for its liabilities and entitled to its profits
    employee ownership
    ownership of a business by the people who work for it
    belongings, holding, property
    something owned; any tangible or intangible possession that is owned by someone
    landholding
    ownership of land; the state or fact of owning land
    white elephant
    a valuable possession whose upkeep is excessively expensive
    transferred possession, transferred property
    a possession whose ownership changes or lapses
    circumstances
    a person's financial situation (good or bad)
    assets
    anything of material value or usefulness that is owned by a person or company
    stockholding
    ownership of stocks; the state or fact of holding stock
    treasure
    any possession that is highly valued by its owner
    liabilities
    anything that is owed to someone else
    elbow room, room, way
    space for movement
    dealings, relations
    mutual dealings or connections or communications among persons or groups
    partnership
    a cooperative relationship between people or groups who agree to share responsibility for achieving some specific goal
    personal relation, personal relationship
    a relation between persons
    contradictory
    two propositions are contradictories if both cannot be true (or both cannot be false) at the same time
    contrary
    a logical relation such that two propositions are contraries if both cannot be true but both can be false
    function, map, mapping, mathematical function, single-valued function
    (mathematics) a mathematical relation such that each element of a given set (the domain of the function) is associated with an element of another set (the range of the function)
    parity
    (mathematics) a relation between a pair of integers: if both integers are odd or both are even they have the same parity; if one is odd and the other is even they have different parity
    basis, footing, ground
    a relation that provides the foundation for something
    grass roots
    the essential foundation or source
    series
    (electronics) connection of components in such a manner that current flows first through one and then through the other
    alliance, bond
    a connection based on kinship or marriage or common interest
    linkage
    an associative relation
    communication
    a connection allowing access between persons or places
    concatenation
    the linking together of a consecutive series of symbols or events or ideas etc
    bridge
    something resembling a bridge in form or function
    involvement
    a connection of inclusion or containment
    relevance, relevancy
    the relation of something to the matter at hand
    relatedness
    a particular manner of connectedness
    irrelevance, irrelevancy
    the lack of a relation of something to the matter at hand
    unrelatedness
    the lack of any particular manner of connectedness
    grammatical relation
    a linguistic relation established by grammar
    transitivity
    (logic and mathematics) a relation between three elements such that if it holds between the first and second and it also holds between the second and third it must necessarily hold between the first and third
    reflexiveness, reflexivity
    (logic and mathematics) a relation such that it holds between an element and itself
    modality, mode
    a classification of propositions on the basis of whether they claim necessity or possibility or impossibility
    semantic relation
    a relation between meanings
    homonymy
    the relation between two words that are spelled the same way but differ in meaning or the relation between two words that are pronounced the same way but differ in meaning
    base, basis
    the most important or necessary part of something
    detail, item, particular
    a small part that can be considered separately from the whole
    unit
    an individual or group or structure or other entity regarded as a structural or functional constituent of a whole
    member
    anything that belongs to a set or class
    balance, remainder, residual, residue, residuum, rest
    something left after other parts have been taken away
    subpart
    a part of a part
    rapport, resonance
    a relationship of mutual understanding or trust and agreement between people
    sympathy
    a relation of affinity or harmony between people; whatever affects one correspondingly affects the other
    affinity, phylogenetic relation
    (biology) state of relationship between organisms or groups of organisms resulting in resemblance in structure or structural parts
    descent, filiation, line of descent, lineage
    the kinship relation between an individual and the individual's progenitors
    affinity
    (anthropology) kinship by marriage or adoption; not a blood relationship
    blood kinship, cognation, consanguinity
    (anthropology) related by blood
    birth, parentage
    the kinship relation of an offspring to the parents
    fatherhood, paternity
    the kinship relation between an offspring and the father
    maternity, motherhood
    the kinship relation between an offspring and the mother
    sisterhood, sistership
    the kinship relation between a female offspring and the siblings
    brotherhood
    the kinship relation between a male offspring and the siblings
    marital bed, marital relationship
    the relationship between wife and husband
    scale
    relative magnitude
    proportion, ratio
    the relation between things (or parts of things) with respect to their comparative quantity, magnitude, or degree
    ratio
    the relative magnitudes of two quantities (usually expressed as a quotient)
    direction
    the spatial relation between something and the course along which it points or moves
    angular position
    relation by which any position with respect to any other position is established
    competition
    a business relation in which two parties compete to gain customers
    clientage
    relation of a client to a patron
    professional relation
    the relation that exists when one person requests and is granted professional help from a qualified source
    political relation, politics
    social relations involving intrigue to gain authority or power
    alchemy, chemistry, interpersonal chemistry
    the way two individuals relate to each other
    complementarity
    the interrelation of reciprocity whereby one thing supplements or depends on the other
    correlation, correlativity
    a reciprocal relation between two or more things
    interdependence, interdependency, mutuality
    a reciprocal relation between interdependent entities (objects or individuals or groups)
    mutuality, mutualness
    a reciprocality of sentiments
    reciprocal
    something (a term or expression or concept) that has a reciprocal relation to something else
    psychodynamics
    the interrelation of conscious and unconscious processes and emotions that determine personality and motivation
    antecedent, forerunner
    anything that precedes something similar in time
    chronology
    an arrangement of events in time
    synchroneity, synchronicity, synchronisation, synchronism, synchronization, synchronizing, synchrony
    the relation that exists when things occur at the same time
    asynchronism, asynchrony, desynchronisation, desynchronization, desynchronizing
    the relation that exists when things occur at unrelated times
    imaginative comparison
    the kind of mental comparison that is expressed in similes or metaphors or allegories
    antipode
    direct opposite
    antithesis
    exact opposite
    conflict
    opposition in a work of drama or fiction between characters or forces (especially an opposition that motivates the development of the plot)
    contrast, direct contrast
    the opposition or dissimilarity of things that are compared
    flip side
    a different aspect of something (especially the opposite aspect)
    mutual opposition, polarity
    a relation between two opposite attributes or tendencies
    gradable opposition
    an opposition that is capable of being graded
    polarity, sign
    the state of having an indicated pole (as the distinction between positive and negative electric charges)
    ungradable opposition
    an opposition that has no intermediate grade; either one or the other
    contradictoriness
    the relation that exists when opposites cannot coexist
    contradiction
    opposition between two conflicting forces or ideas
    contrary
    exact opposition
    contrariety
    the relation between contraries
    tertium quid
    some third thing similar to two opposites but distinct from both
    contrary, opposite, reverse
    a relation of direct opposition
    inverse, opposite
    something inverted in sequence or character or effect
    difference
    a significant change
    gradient
    a graded change in the magnitude of some physical quantity or dimension
    conditional relation, implication, logical implication
    a logical relation between propositions p and q of the form `if p then q'; if p is true then q cannot be false
    antagonism
    the relation between opposing principles or forces or factors
    rate
    a magnitude or frequency relative to a time unit
    dregs
    the most worthless or undesirable part of something
    type of:
    abstract entity, abstraction
    a general concept formed by extracting common features from specific examples
  2. noun
    a person related by blood or marriage
    “he has distant relations back in New Jersey”
    synonyms: relative
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    types:
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    ancestor, antecedent, ascendant, ascendent, root
    someone from whom you are descended (but usually more remote than a grandparent)
    cousin, cousin-german, first cousin, full cousin
    the child of your aunt or uncle
    descendant, descendent
    a person considered as descended from some ancestor or race
    in-law, relative-in-law
    a relative by marriage
    blood relation, blood relative, cognate, sib
    one related by blood or origin; especially on sharing an ancestor with another
    family, kin, kinsperson
    a person having kinship with another or others
    enate, matrikin, matrilineal kin, matrilineal sib, matrisib
    one related on the mother's side
    agnate, patrikin, patrilineal kin, patrilineal sib, patrisib
    one related on the father's side
    kinsman
    a male relative
    kinswoman
    a female relative
    kissing cousin, kissing kin
    a more or less distant relative; familiar enough to be greeted with a kiss
    next of kin
    the person who is (or persons who are) most closely related to a given person
    issue, offspring, progeny
    the immediate descendants of a person
    second cousin
    a child of your parent's first cousin
    sib, sibling
    a person's brother or sister
    better half, married person, mate, partner, spouse
    a person's partner in marriage
    affine
    (anthropology) kin by marriage
    ancestress
    a woman ancestor
    aunt, auntie, aunty
    the sister of your father or mother; the wife of your uncle
    baby
    the youngest member of a group (not necessarily young)
    bastard, by-blow, illegitimate, illegitimate child, love child, whoreson
    the illegitimate offspring of unmarried parents
    bigamist
    someone who marries one person while already legally married to another
    brother-in-law
    a brother by marriage
    child, kid
    a human offspring (son or daughter) of any age
    child
    a member of a clan or tribe
    consort
    the husband or wife of a reigning monarch
    daughter-in-law
    the wife of your son
    father-in-law
    the father of your spouse
    female sibling
    a person's sister
    eldest, firstborn
    the offspring who came first in the order of birth
    forbear, forebear
    a person from whom you are descended
    father, forefather, sire
    the founder of a family
    foremother
    a woman ancestor
    primogenitor, progenitor
    an ancestor in the direct line
    grandchild
    a child of your son or daughter
    half blood
    one of siblings who have only one parent in common
    helpmate, helpmeet
    a helpful partner
    hubby, husband, married man
    a married man; a woman's partner in marriage
    male sibling
    a sibling who is male
    monogamist, monogynist
    someone who practices monogamy (one spouse at a time)
    mother-in-law
    the mother of your spouse
    nephew
    a son of your brother or sister
    honeymooner, newlywed
    someone recently married
    niece
    a daughter of your brother or sister
    polygamist
    someone who is married to two or more people at the same time
    quad, quadruplet
    one of four children born at the same time from the same pregnancy
    quin, quint, quintuplet
    one of five children born at the same time from the same pregnancy
    scion
    a descendent or heir
    sister-in-law
    the sister of your spouse
    son-in-law
    the husband of your daughter
    heir, successor
    a person who inherits some title or office
    triplet
    one of three offspring born at the same time from the same pregnancy
    twin
    either of two offspring born at the same time from the same pregnancy
    uncle
    the brother of your father or mother; the husband of your aunt
    married woman, wife
    a married woman; a man's partner in marriage
    type of:
    individual, mortal, person, somebody, someone, soul
    a human being
  3. noun
    an act of narration
    “he was the hero according to his own relation
    synonyms: recounting, telling
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    type of:
    narration, recital, yarn
    the act of giving an account describing incidents or a course of events
  4. noun
    the act of engaging in sexual intercourse
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    defloration
    the act of depriving a woman of her virginity (especially by rupturing the hymen through sexual intercourse)
    roll in the hay
    slang for sexual intercourse
    hank panky
    illicit sexual intercourse
    penetration
    the act of inserting the penis into a partner's vagina or anus
    criminal congress
    forbidden or tabu sexual intercourse between individuals
    extramarital sex, free love
    sexual intercourse between individuals who are not married to one another
    incest
    sexual intercourse between persons too closely related to marry (as between a parent and a child)
    type of:
    sex, sex activity, sexual activity, sexual practice
    activities associated with sexual intercourse
  5. noun
    (usually plural) mutual dealings or connections among persons or groups
    “international relations
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    type of:
    dealings, traffic
    social or verbal interchange (usually followed by `with')
  6. noun
    (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”
    synonyms: relation back
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    type of:
    judicial doctrine, judicial principle, legal principle
    (law) a principle underlying the formulation of jurisprudence
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