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  1. of or relating to relations.
  2. indicating or specifying some relation.
  3. Grammar. serving to indicate relations between various elements in a sentence, as prepositions, conjunctions, etc.Compare notional(def 6).

Origin of relational

First recorded in 1655–65; relation + -al1
Related formsnon·re·la·tion·al, adjectiveun·re·la·tion·al, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for relational


  1. grammar indicating or expressing syntactic relation, as for example the case endings in Latin
  2. having relation or being related
  3. computing based on data stored in a tabular forma relational database
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for relational


1660s, from relation + -al (1).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper