Nearby words

  1. relational,
  2. relational database,
  3. relations,
  4. relationship,
  5. relationship marketing,
  6. relative accommodation,
  7. relative aperture,
  8. relative atomic mass,
  9. relative bearing,
  10. relative clause

Origin of relative

1350–1400; Middle English relatif (noun) (< Middle French) < Late Latin relātīvus (adj.); see relate, -ive

Related forms

Usage note

11. See who. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for relatives

British Dictionary definitions for relatives



having meaning or significance only in relation to something else; not absolutea relative value
(prenominal) (of a scientific quantity) being measured or stated relative to some other substance or measurementrelative humidity; relative density Compare absolute (def. 10)
(prenominal) comparative or respectivethe relative qualities of speed and accuracy
(postpositive foll by to) in proportion (to); corresponding (to)earnings relative to production
having reference (to); pertinent (to)matters not relative to the topic under discussion
grammar denoting or belonging to a class of words that function as subordinating conjunctions in introducing relative clauses. In English, relative pronouns and determiners include who, which, and thatCompare demonstrative (def. 5), interrogative (def. 3)
grammar denoting or relating to a clause (relative clause) that modifies a noun or pronoun occurring earlier in the sentence
(of a musical key or scale) having the same key signature as another key or scaleC major is the relative major of A minor


a person who is related by blood or marriage; relation
a relative pronoun, clause, or grammatical construction
Derived Formsrelativeness, noun

Word Origin for relative

C16: from Late Latin relātīvus referring

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 relatives
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper