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From relation +‎ -ship.


  • IPA(key): /ɹɪˈleɪ.ʃənˌʃɪp/, [ɹɪˈleɪ.ʃn̩ˌʃɪp]
  • Audio (US):(file)
  • Hyphenation: re‧la‧tion‧ship



relationship (plural relationships)

  1. Connection or association; the condition of being related.
    • 2011 February 1, Istvan Csicsery-Ronay, Jr., The Seven Beauties of Science Fiction[1], Wesleyan University Press, →ISBN, pages 102–103:
      But some discussion of the complex relationship between “allohistory” and sf is appropriate here, as the genres overlap in certain ways. Classical allohistory— such as Trevelyan's "What if Napoleon had won the Battle of Waterloo?" and Churchill's "If Lee had not won the Battle of Gettysburg" —is a rigorously consistent thought-experiment in historical causality.
  2. (mathematics) The links between the x-values and y-values of ordered pairs of numbers especially coordinates.
    • 2013 August 10, Schumpeter, “Cronies and capitols”, in The Economist, volume 408, number 8848:
      Policing the relationship between government and business in a free society is difficult. Businesspeople have every right to lobby governments, and civil servants to take jobs in the private sector.
  3. Kinship; being related by blood or marriage.
  4. A romantic or sexual involvement.
    They have been in a relationship for ten years, but have never married.
    • 1975 March 17, Marian Christy, “Suzy Chaffee, A Liberated Beauty”, in The Lebanon Daily News:
      I'm not advocating sexual promiscuity but I think it's possible for a woman to have many kinds of sexual relationships with many men and that shouldn't affect the status of the marriage.
    • 2000 April 8, Dorthea Straus, “Oates on Marilyn: Men, drugs, tragedy”, in The Baltimore Sun:
      Her most satisfying sexual relationship seemed to be a threesome with Charles Chaplin Jr. and Eddy Robinson Jr., the spurned sons of famous film fathers.
  5. A way in which two or more people behave and are involved with each other
    I have a good working relationship with my boss.
    • 2012 August 5, Nathan Rabin, “TV: Review: THE SIMPSONS (CLASSIC): “I Love Lisa” (season 4, episode 15; originally aired 02/11/1993)”, in (Please provide the book title or journal name):
      “I Love Lisa” opens with one of my favorite underappreciated running jokes from The Simpsons: the passive-aggressive, quietly contentious relationship of radio jocks Bill and Marty, whose mindless happy talk regularly gives way to charged exchanges that betray the simmering resentment and disappointment perpetually lingering just under the surface of their relationship.
  6. (music) The level or degree of affinity between keys, chords and tones.



Derived terms