considered in relation to something else; comparative:
the relative merits of democracy and monarchy.
existing or having its specific nature only by relation to something else; not absolute or independent:
Happiness is relative.
having relation or connection.
having reference or regard; relevant; pertinent (usually followed by to):
to determine the facts relative to an accident.
Value is relative to demand.
(of a term, name, etc.) depending for significance upon something else:
“Better” is a relative term.
noting or pertaining to a word that introduces a subordinate clause of which it is, or is a part of, the subject or predicate and that refers to an expressed or implied element of the principal clause (the antecedent), as the relative pronounwho in He's the man who saw you or the relative adverb where in This is the house where she was born.
having meaning or significance only in relation to something else; not absolute a relative value
(prenominal) (of a scientific quantity) being measured or stated relative to some other substance or measurement relative humidity, relative density Compare absolute (sense 10)
(prenominal) comparative or respective the relative qualities of speed and accuracy
(postpositive) foll by to. in proportion (to); corresponding (to) earnings relative to production
having reference (to); pertinent (to) matters not relative to the topic under discussion
(grammar) denoting or belonging to a class of words that function as subordinating conjunctions in introducing relative clauses. In English, relative pronouns and determiners include who, which, and thatCompare demonstrative (sense 5), interrogative (sense 3)
(grammar) denoting or relating to a clause (relative clause) that modifies a noun or pronoun occurring earlier in the sentence
(of a musical key or scale) having the same key signature as another key or scale C major is the relative major of A minor
a person who is related by blood or marriage; relation
a relative pronoun, clause, or grammatical construction
1388, "a relative pronoun," from O.Fr. relatif (13c.), from L.L. relativus "having reference or relation," from L. relatus, pp. of referre "to refer." Meaning "person in the same family" first recorded 1657; the adj. is attested from 1530. Relatively "in relation to something else" is recorded from 1561. Relativism in philosophy first recorded 1865 (relativist is from 1863).