a connection, association, or involvement.
connection between persons by blood or marriage.
an emotional or other connection between people: the relationship between teachers and students.
a sexual involvement; affair.

Origin of relationship

First recorded in 1735–45; relation + -ship
Related formspre·re·la·tion·ship, noun

Synonyms for relationship

1. dependence, alliance, kinship. 2. affinity, consanguinity. Relationship, kinship refer to connection with others by blood or by marriage. Relationship can be applied to connection either by birth or by marriage: relationship to a ruling family. Kinship generally denotes common descent and implies a more intimate connection than relationship: the ties and obligations of kinship. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for relationship

Contemporary Examples of relationship

Historical Examples of relationship

  • The first results come from my first relationship, and my first relationship is to God.

  • He gave an account of his relationship with the Daily Sensation.

    The Foolish Lovers

    St. John G. Ervine

  • In what relationship to him lfhere, mentioned 2605, stands, is not clear.



  • I took no trouble to ask her concerning the relationship of which Mr Coningham had spoken.

    Wilfrid Cumbermede

    George MacDonald

  • So much that there had been speculation about their relationship—that didn't interest him.

    Happy Ending

    Fredric Brown

British Dictionary definitions for relationship



the state of being connected or related
association by blood or marriage; kinship
the mutual dealings, connections, or feelings that exist between two parties, countries, people, etca business relationship
an emotional or sexual affair or liaison
logic maths another name for relation (def. 10)
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 relationship

1640s, "sense or state of being related," from relation + -ship. Specifically of romantic or sexual relationships by 1944.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

relationship in Medicine




The condition or fact of being related; connection or association.
Connection by blood or marriage; kinship.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.