[ rel-uh-tuh-vis-tik ]
/ ˌrɛl ə təˈvɪs tɪk /


of or relating to relativity or relativism.
  1. subject to the special or the general theory of relativity.
  2. (of a velocity) having a magnitude that is a significant fraction of the speed of light.
  3. (of a particle) having a relativistic velocity: radiation from relativistic electrons.

Nearby words

  1. relatively,
  2. relatively prime numbers,
  3. relativeness,
  4. relativism,
  5. relativist,
  6. relativistic mass,
  7. relativistic quantum mechanics,
  8. relativity,
  9. relativize,
  10. relator

Origin of relativistic

First recorded in 1885–90; relativist + -ic

Related formsrel·a·tiv·is·ti·cal·ly, adverbul·tra·rel·a·tiv·is·tic, adjectiveun·rel·a·tiv·is·tic, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for relativistic

  • The man had used a simplified quantum mechanics without correction for relativistic effects.

    Security|Poul William Anderson

British Dictionary definitions for relativistic


/ (ˌrɛlətɪˈvɪstɪk) /


physics having or involving a speed close to that of light so that the behaviour is described by the theory of relativity rather than by Newtonian mechanicsa relativistic electron; a relativistic velocity
physics of, concerned with, or involving relativity
of or relating to relativism
Derived Formsrelativistically, adverb

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

Science definitions for relativistic


[ rĕl′ə-tĭvĭ-tē ]

Either of two theories in physics developed by Albert Einstein, General Relativity or Special Relativity. See Notes at Einstein gravity space-time.
Related formsrelativistic adjective

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.