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[rel-uh-vuh ns] /ˈrɛl ə vəns/
the condition of being relevant, or connected with the matter at hand:
Some traditional institutions of the media lack relevance in this digital age.
Also, relevancy. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for relevance
  • In my book archaeologists are way under-rated in terms of their importance and relevance to modern life.
  • The trouble was that no one could agree on what it was or its relevance to the evolution of other animals.
  • The three courses below are usually required of biology majors and have plenty of relevance to modern medicine.
  • In the modern world witchcraft can seem outdated, a taboo practice with little relevance in a society of science.
  • The project also has broad relevance to the sciences.
  • Its relevance to this discussion struck me as not having changed much-and as being even more relevant today.
  • The only concomitant weakness of relevance to this discussion is the lack of transparency.
  • As our examples suggest, community-based education can put learning into context and increase the relevance of higher education.
  • There are serious problems in academia today, with the university floundering for workplace relevance.
  • There are no bogus geopolitics weighing it down with a spurious relevance.
Word Origin and History for relevance

1733; see relevant + -ance. Related: Relevancy (1560s).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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relevance in Technology

information science
A measure of how closely a given object (file, web page, database record, etc.) matches a user's search for information.
The relevance algorithms used in most large web search engines today are based on fairly simple word-occurence measurement: if the word "daffodil" occurs on a given page, then that page is considered relevant to a query on the word "daffodil"; and its relevance is quantised as a factor of the number of times the word occurs in the page, on whether "daffodil" occurs in title of the page or in its META keywords, in the first N words of the page, in a heading, and so on; and similarly for words that a stemmer says are based on "daffodil".
More elaborate (and resource-expensive) relevance algorithms may involve thesaurus (or synonym ring) lookup; e.g. it might rank a document about narcissuses (but which may not mention the word "daffodil" anywhere) as relevant to a query on "daffodil", since narcissuses and daffodils are basically the same thing. Ditto for queries on "jail" and "gaol", etc.
More elaborate forms of thesaurus lookup may involve multilingual thesauri (e.g. knowing that documents in Japanese which mention the Japanese word for "narcissus" are relevant to your search on "narcissus"), or may involve thesauri (often auto-generated) based not on equivalence of meaning, but on word-proximity, such that "bulb" or "bloom" may be in the thesaurus entry for "daffodil".
Word spamming essentially attempts to falsely increase a web page's relevance to certain common searches.
See also subject index.

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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