from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A logical or natural association between two or more things; relevance of one to another; connection.
  • noun The connection of people by blood or marriage; kinship.
  • noun A person connected to another by blood or marriage; a relative.
  • noun The way in which one person or thing is connected with another.
  • noun The mutual dealings or connections of persons, groups, or nations in social, business, or diplomatic matters.
  • noun Sexual intercourse.
  • noun The act of telling or narrating.
  • noun A narrative; an account.
  • noun Mathematics A correspondence between two sets, consisting of a set of ordered pairs, the first element of each of which is from the first set, and the second element of each of which is from the second set. If A = {1,2} and B = {3,4}, then {(1,3), (1,4)} is a relation from A to B.
  • noun Law The principle by which an action done on a certain date is treated as having been done on an earlier date.
  • idiom (in relation to) In reference to; in connection with.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To relate; bring into relation.
  • noun The act of relating or telling; recital; narration.
  • noun That which is related or told; an account; narrative: formerly applied to historical narrations or geographical descriptions: as, the Jesuit Relations.
  • noun A character of a plurality of things; a fact concerning two or more things, especially and more properly when it is regarded as a predicate of one of the things connecting it with the others; the condition of being such and such with regard to something else: as, the relation of a citizen to the state; the relation of demand and supply.
  • noun Intimate connection between facts; significant bearing of one fact upon another.
  • noun Connection by consanguinity or affinity; kinship; tie of birth or marriage; relationship.
  • noun Kindred; connection; a group of persons related by kinship.
  • noun A person connected by consanguinity or affinity; a kinsman or kinswoman; a relative.
  • noun In mathematics:
  • noun A ratio; proportion.
  • noun A connection between a number of quantities by which certain systems of values are excluded; especially, such a connection as may be expressed by a plexus of general equations.
  • noun In music, that connection or kinship between two tones, chords, or keys (tonalities) which makes their association with each other easy and natural.
  • noun In law:
  • noun A fiction of law whereby, to prevent injustice, effect is given to an act done at one time as if it had been done at a previous time, it being said to have relation back to that time: as, where a deed is executed and acted on, but its delivery neglected, the law may give effect to its subsequent delivery by relation back to its date or to its execution, as may be equitable.
  • noun Suggestion by a relator; the statement or complaint of his grievance by one at whose instance an action or special proceeding is brought by the state to determine a question involving both public and private right.
  • noun In architecture, the direct dependence upon one another, and upon the whole, of the different parts of a building, or members of a design.
  • noun Same as composite relation .
  • noun Same as aggregate relation .
  • noun a relation of such a sort that nothing can be so related to anything else, as the relations of self-consciousness, self-depreciation, self-help, etc.
  • noun Synonyms Narration, Recital, etc. See account.
  • noun Attitude, connection.
  • noun Affiliation.5 and Relation, Relative, Connection, When applying to family affiliations, relation is used of a state or of a person, but in the latter sense relative is much better; relative is used of a person, but not of a state; connection is used with equal propriety of either person or state. Relation and relative refer to kinship by blood; connection is increasingly restricted to ties resulting from marriage.
  • noun Kindred, kin.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun The act of relating or telling; also, that which is related; recital; account; narration; narrative.
  • noun The state of being related or of referring; what is apprehended as appertaining to a being or quality, by considering it in its bearing upon something else; relative quality or condition; the being such and such with regard or respect to some other thing; connection
  • noun Reference; respect; regard.
  • noun Connection by consanguinity or affinity; kinship; relationship.
  • noun A person connected by cosanguinity or affinity; a relative; a kinsman or kinswoman.
  • noun The carrying back, and giving effect or operation to, an act or proceeding frrom some previous date or time, by a sort of fiction, as if it had happened or begun at that time. In such case the act is said to take effect by relation.
  • noun The act of a relator at whose instance a suit is begun.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun The manner in which two things may be associated.
  • noun A member of one's family.
  • noun The act of relating a story.
  • noun set theory A set of ordered tuples.
  • noun set theory Specifically, a set of ordered pairs.
  • noun databases A set of ordered tuples retrievable by a relational database; a table.


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Anglo-Norman relacioun, from Old French relacion (cognate to French relation), from Latin relationem, accusative of relatio, noun of process form from perfect passive participle relatus ("related"), from verb referre ("to refer, to relate"), from prefix re- ("again") + ferre ("to bear, to carry")


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  • The reference of my correspondent to disprove the _relation_, is a part of what Jesus has prescribed on this subject to _regulate_ the _duties_ of the relation, and is itself proof that the relation existed -- that its legality was recognized -- and its duties prescribed by the Son of God through the Holy Ghost given to the apostles.

    Cotton is King, and Pro-Slavery Arguments Comprising the Writings of Hammond, Harper, Christy, Stringfellow, Hodge, Bledsoe, and Cartrwright on This Important Subject E. N. [Editor] Elliott

  • There is a subtle relation between character and conditions, and it is this _relation_ that determines Fate.

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  • In relation to a number of scriptures which you have quoted, seemingly with a design to illustrate the foregoing subject, I can only say, that if any or all those passages relate at all to the subject, _that relation_ is out of my sight.

    A Series of Letters in Defence of Divine Revelation Hosea Ballou 1811

  • However that may be, once the notion of a relation of reason is introduced in the Latin West, it becomes pervasive ” so pervasive, in fact, that even philosophers, such as Ockham, who complain that such a notion is “not to be found in the writings of Aristotle” and that “˜relation of reason™ is not a philosophical term”, nevertheless feel compelled to give some account of it in order to preserve common usage. [

    Medieval Theories of Relations Brower, Jeffrey 2009

  • The difficulty of determining what relations are real and what analogical is far from surprising when no one pretends to define the meaning of the term relation or the ulterior object of all classification.

    The Foundations of the Origin of Species Two Essays written in 1842 and 1844 Charles Darwin 1845

  • This relation is accentuated by mental processes leaping from one of the characters to another — by what we could call telepathy —, so that the one possesses knowledge, feelings and experience in common with the other.

    Reading Machines 2005

  • There is a derivative relation between objects and spatial elements which I call the relation of location; and when this relation holds, I say that the object is located in the abstractive element.

    The Concept of Nature The Tarner Lectures Delivered in Trinity College, November 1919 Alfred North Whitehead 1904

  • He developed a quantitative relationship for the strength of a magnetic field in relation to an electric current (known as Ampère's theorem) and studied the process of iron magnetization.

    Ampère, André Marie 2009

  • In fact, our failure probably appeared worse than it was, because we drew a disproportionately female attendance in relation to our total member base.

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  • David Petzal's book is interesting, however, especially in relation to this recent blog post in which many of you lamented the lack of real stories in today's outdoor writing.

    On Old-School How-To 2010


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