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[ri-ley-shuh n-ship] /rɪˈleɪ ʃənˌʃɪp/
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
1735-45; relation + -ship
Related forms
prerelationship, noun
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 Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for relationship
  • Typically, they're in a committed relationship, but they aren't perfectly happy.
  • The two tech giants had a long and complicated relationship.
  • But for a relationship to endure, it must be based on something more than superficial attraction.
  • If people don't spend time with nature, they won't develop a relationship with it and be good stewards of it in the future.
  • She illustrates the fragile but enduring relationship between people and the ocean.
  • It is also notable for the harmonious relationship between the open and built spaces, the simplicity of its design, and its size.
  • Group exhibition of artists selected through an open-call that considers the seductive relationship artists have with materials.
  • At the center of his insights was a vision of nature's intimate relationship with the human and the divine.
  • Their friends had reservations about the relationship.
  • The outcome was said to indicate who would be dominant in the relationship.
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, etc: a business relationship
an emotional or sexual affair or liaison
(logic, maths) another name for relation (sense 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
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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
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relationship in Medicine

relationship re·la·tion·ship (rĭ-lā'shən-shĭp')

  1. The condition or fact of being related; connection or association.

  2. 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.
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