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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.
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 relationships
  • Two utterly different functions are developed in the two relationships.
  • Continuity beyond the grave of relationships begun here is preached.
  • We'd better take the time to fashion revolutionary selves, revolutionary lives, revolutionary relationships.
  • But there was a disadvantage as well as an advantage in these intimate family relationships.
  • To do so you must make up your mind to accept the fact of complicated relationships.
  • Archaeopteryx is actually a perfect example of how new discoveries can change our perception of relationships.
  • The art offers insights into human relationships: with nature, the spirit world and one another.
  • Players' relationships with bats have inspired any number of myths and tales.
  • There's a ton of research that shows playing games with people actually improves relationships with them.
  • There are dozens of examples of simple gene-trait relationships, many of which were discovered years ago.
British Dictionary definitions for relationships


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 relationships



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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relationships 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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