Meaning of RELATION in English

rə̇ˈlāshən, rēˈ- noun

( -s )

Etymology: Middle English relacioun, from Middle French relation, from Latin relation-, relatio, from relatus (suppletive past participle of referre to carry back, refer, relate) + -ion-, -io -ion — more at relate

1. : the act of telling or recounting : recital , account , narration

was the hero of the affair according to his own relation

tedious relation of circumstantial details

2. : an extended account or report

the Jesuit relations of missionary work in the New World

3. : an aspect or quality (as resemblance, direction, difference) that can be predicated only of two or more things taken together : something perceived or discovered by observing or thinking about two or more things at the same time : connection

discovered a relation between dreams and waking actions

the relations between the objects in the picture are all wrong

4. : the referring of an act to a prior date as the time of its taking effect : the giving force or operation to an act or proceeding as of some previous date or time by the fiction that it had happened or begun at that time



(1) : a person connected by consanguinity or affinity : kinsman , kinswoman , relative

(2) : a person who in case of intestacy would be legally entitled to a share of the property of the intestate under the statute of distributions in force in the jurisdiction in question — compare consanguinity

b. dialect : relatives

c. : relationship by consanguinity or affinity : kinship

6. : reference , respect — used especially in the phrase in relation to

had a lot to say in relation to that affair

stingy only in relation to his family


a. : the mode in which one thing or entity stands to another, itself, or others

the relation of father to son, parent to children

or in which two or more entities stand to one another

the relation of members of the same community

b. : a logical bond ; specifically : a dyadic or polyadic predicate or propositional function — compare asymmetric , intransitive , irreflexive , one-one , reflexive , symmetrical , transitive


a. : the state of being mutually or reciprocally interested (as in social or commercial matters)

b. relations plural : dealings, affairs

the foreign relations of a country

: intercourse

broke off all relations with him and his family

: sexual union

charged with having relations with a woman not his wife

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.