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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
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Just now, we want to talk about the first of these, the how of relationship in prayer.

    Quiet Talks on Prayer S. D. (Samuel Dickey) Gordon
  • In what relationship to him lfhere, mentioned 2605, stands, is not clear.

    Beowulf Unknown
  • His relationship with my aunt had made him a member of our family, and he had been acquainted with our projects.

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

    Wilfrid Cumbermede George MacDonald
  • They were an interesting group, but I had some difficulty in making out their relationship.

    A Spring Walk in Provence Archibald Marshall
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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