verb (used with object), re·lat·ed, re·lat·ing.
  1. to tell; give an account of (an event, circumstance, etc.).
  2. to bring into or establish association, connection, or relation: to relate events to probable causes.
verb (used without object), re·lat·ed, re·lat·ing.
  1. to have reference (often followed by to).
  2. to have some relation (often followed by to).
  3. to establish a social or sympathetic relationship with a person or thing: two sisters unable to relate to each other.

Origin of relate

1480–90; < Latin relātus, suppletive past participle of referre to carry back (see refer)
Related formsre·lat·a·bil·i·ty, nounre·lat·a·ble, adjectivere·lat·er, nounmis·re·late, verb, mis·re·lat·ed, mis·re·lat·ing.pre·re·late, verb (used with object), pre·re·lat·ed, pre·re·lat·ing.un·re·lat·ing, adjective

Synonyms for relate

1. narrate, delineate, detail, repeat. Relate, recite, recount, rehearse mean to tell, report, or describe in some detail an occurrence or circumstance. To relate is to give an account of happenings, events, circumstances, etc.: to relate one's adventures. To recite may mean to give details consecutively, but more often applies to the repetition from memory of something learned with verbal exactness: to recite a poem. To recount is usually to set forth consecutively the details of an occurrence, argument, experience, etc., to give an account in detail: to recount an unpleasant experience. Rehearse implies some formality and exactness in telling, sometimes with repeated performance as for practice before final delivery: to rehearse one's side of a story. 2. ally.

Antonyms for relate Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for relater

Historical Examples of relater

British Dictionary definitions for relater


  1. (tr) to tell or narrate (a story, information, etc)
  2. (often foll by to) to establish association (between two or more things) or (of something) to have relation or reference (to something else)
  3. (intr often foll by to) to form a sympathetic or significant relationship (with other people, things, etc)
Derived Formsrelatable, adjectiverelater, noun

Word Origin for relate

C16: from Latin relātus brought back, from referre to carry back, from re- + ferre to bear; see refer
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 relater



1520s, "to recount, tell," from Middle French relater "refer, report" (14c.) and directly from Latin relatus, used as past participle of referre "bring back, bear back" (see refer), from re- "back, again" + latus (see oblate (n.)).

Meaning "stand in some relation; have reference or respect" is from 1640s; transitive sense of "bring (something) into relation with (something else)" is from 1690s. Meaning "to establish a relation between" is from 1771. Sense of "to feel connected or sympathetic to" is attested from 1950, originally in psychology jargon. Related: Related; relating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper