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1. Considered in comparison or relation to something else: an animal with a large brain relative to body size; the relative quiet of the suburbs.
2. Having pertinence or relevance; connected or related: How are those remarks relative to the discussion?
3. Grammar Referring to or qualifying an antecedent, as the pronoun who in the man who was on TV or that in the dictionary that I use.
4. Music Having the same key signature. Used of major and minor scales and keys: A minor is the relative minor of C major.
a. A person related to another by heredity, adoption, or marriage.
b. A species or other taxon that shares a common ancestor, usually a relatively recent ancestor, with another: The jaguar is a relative of the lion.
2. Grammar A relative pronoun.

[Middle English, from Old French relatif, from Late Latin relātīvus, from Latin relātus, past participle of referre, to relate; see relate.]

rel′a·tive·ness n.


1. having meaning or significance only in relation to something else; not absolute: a relative value.
2. (prenominal) (of a scientific quantity) being measured or stated relative to some other substance or measurement: relative humidity; relative density. Compare absolute10
3. (prenominal) comparative or respective: the relative qualities of speed and accuracy.
4. (foll by: to) in proportion (to); corresponding (to): earnings relative to production.
5. having reference (to); pertinent (to): matters not relative to the topic under discussion.
6. (Grammar) 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 that. Compare demonstrative5, interrogative3
7. (Grammar) grammar denoting or relating to a clause (relative clause) that modifies a noun or pronoun occurring earlier in the sentence
8. (Music, other) (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.
9. a person who is related by blood or marriage; relation
10. (Grammar) a relative pronoun, clause, or grammatical construction
[C16: from Late Latin relātīvus referring]
ˈrelativeness n


(ˈrɛl ə tɪv)

1. a person who is connected with another by blood or marriage.
2. something having, or standing in, some relation to something else.
3. something dependent upon external conditions for its specific nature, size, etc. (opposed to absolute).
4. a relative pronoun, adjective, or adverb.
5. considered in relation to something else; comparative: the relative merits of gas and electric heating.
6. existing or having its specific nature only by relation to something else; not absolute or independent: Happiness is relative.
7. having relation or connection.
8. having reference; relevant; pertinent (usu. fol. by to): the facts relative to the case.
9. correspondent; proportionate.
10. depending for significance upon something else: “Better” is a relative term.
11. of or designating a word that introduces a subordinate clause and refers to an expressed or implied element of the principal clause: the relative pronoun who in “That was the woman who called”; the relative adverb where in “This is the house where I was born.”
12. (of a musical key) having the same key signature as another key: a relative minor.
[1350–1400; Middle English relatif (n.) (< Middle French) < Late Latin relātīvus (adj.); see relate, -ive]
rel′a•tive•ly, adv.



These words are used to refer to people or to connections between people.

1. 'relation' and 'relative'

Your relations or relatives are the members of your family.

I said that I was a relation of her first husband.
I'm going to visit some relatives.

The relations between people or groups are the contacts between them and the way they behave towards each other.

Relations between the two men had not improved.
Britain has close relations with the US.
2. 'relationship'

You can talk in a similar way about the relationship between two people or groups.

The old relationship between the friends was quickly re-established.
Senor Zapatero has shown that he is keen to have a close relationship with Britain.

A relationship is also a close friendship between two people, especially one involving sexual or romantic feelings.

When the relationship ended two months ago, he was very upset.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.relative - a person related by blood or marriagerelative - a person related by blood or marriage; "police are searching for relatives of the deceased"; "he has distant relations back in New Jersey"
individual, mortal, person, somebody, someone, soul - a human being; "there was too much for one person to do"
kin group, kindred, kinship group, clan, kin, tribe - group of people related by blood or marriage
ancestor, antecedent, ascendant, ascendent, root - someone from whom you are descended (but usually more remote than a grandparent)
cousin, cousin-german, first cousin, full cousin - the child of your aunt or uncle
descendant, descendent - a person considered as descended from some ancestor or race
in-law, relative-in-law - a relative by marriage
blood relation, blood relative, cognate, sib - one related by blood or origin; especially on sharing an ancestor with another
kin, kinsperson, family - a person having kinship with another or others; "he's kin"; "he's family"
enate, matrikin, matrilineal kin, matrilineal sib, matrisib - one related on the mother's side
agnate, patrikin, patrilineal kin, patrilineal sib, patrisib - one related on the father's side
kinsman - a male relative
kinswoman - a female relative
kissing cousin, kissing kin - a more or less distant relative; familiar enough to be greeted with a kiss
next of kin - the person who is (or persons who are) most closely related to a given person
offspring, progeny, issue - the immediate descendants of a person; "she was the mother of many offspring"; "he died without issue"
second cousin - a child of a first cousin
sib, sibling - a person's brother or sister
better half, married person, partner, spouse, mate - a person's partner in marriage
2.relative - an animal or plant that bears a relationship to another (as related by common descent or by membership in the same genus)
organism, being - a living thing that has (or can develop) the ability to act or function independently
Adj.1.relative - estimated by comparison; not absolute or complete; "a relative stranger"
absolute - perfect or complete or pure; "absolute loyalty"; "absolute silence"; "absolute truth"; "absolute alcohol"
2.relative - properly related in size or degree or other measurable characteristics; usually followed by `to'; "the punishment ought to be proportional to the crime"; "earnings relative to production"
proportionate - being in due proportion; "proportionate representation of a minority group"


1. relation, connection, kinsman or kinswoman, member of your or the family Do relatives of yours still live in Siberia?
1. comparative, considerable, reasonable, moderate, in comparison a period of relative calm
2. corresponding, comparable, respective, comparative, reciprocal, correlative the relative importance of education in 50 countries
3. (with to) in proportion to, corresponding to, proportionate to, proportional to The satellite remains in one spot relative to the earth's surface.
"Every man sees in his relatives, and especially in his cousins, a series of grotesque caricatures of himself" [H.L. Mencken Prejudices]
"When you are courting a nice girl an hour seems like a second. When you sit on a red-hot cinder a second seems like an hour. That's relativity" [Albert Einstein]


1. Estimated by comparison:
2. Determined or to be determined by someone or something else:
A person connected to another person by blood or marriage:
أحد الأقْرِباء، أحد أفراد العائِلَهضَمير الصِّلَهقَريبنِسْبي
ættingií samanburîi viîskyldmennitilvísunar-
họ hàng


1. (= comparative) [safety, peace, comfort, ease] → relativo
her relative lack of experiencesu relativa falta de experiencia
he is a relative newcomeres relativamente nuevo
it's all relativetodo es relativo
in relative termsrelativamente
petrol consumption is relative to speedel consumo de gasolina está en relación con la velocidad
there is a shortage of labour relative to demandhay escasez de trabajadores en relación con la demanda
2. (= respective) the relative merits of the two systemslos méritos de cada uno de los dos sistemas
3. (= relevant) relative torelativo a, concerniente a
the documents relative to the problemla documentación relativa or concerniente al problema
4. (Ling) → relativo
relative clauseoración f subordinada relativa, oración f (subordinada) de relativo
relative pronounpronombre m relativo
5. (Mus) → relativo
B. Npariente mf, familiar mf
friends and relativesamigos mpl y familiares
a close/distant relativeun pariente cercano/lejano


nparent(e) m/f
all her relatives
BUT toute sa famille.
my close relatives → mes proches parents
(= comparative) → relatif/ive
a period of relative calm → une période de calme relatif
relative to sth → relativement à qch
it's all relative → tout est relatif
(= respective) → respectif/ive
the relative merits of London and Paris → les mérites respectifs de Londres et Parisrelative clause n(proposition f) relative f


(= comparative, not absolute, Sci) → relativ; happiness is relativeGlück ist relativ; relative to him, she is in a very happy positionverglichen mit ihm ist sie gut dran; fuel consumption is relative to speedder Benzinverbrauch hängt von der Geschwindigkeit ab; to live in relative luxuryverhältnismäßig or relativ luxuriös leben; with relative easerelativ leicht; in relative termsvergleichsweise, relativ gesehen; it’s all relativees ist alles relativ
(= respective)jeweilig; the relative merits of A and Bdie jeweiligen Verdienste von A und B
(= relevant) relative tosich beziehend auf (+acc)
(Gram) → Relativ-; relative pronoun/clauseRelativpronomen nt/-satz m
(Mus) minor, majorparallel
(= person) = relation a
(Gram: = clause) → Relativsatz m; (= pronoun)Relativpronomen nt


1. adj (comparative) (Gram) → relativo/a; (connected) relative tolegato/a a
the relative merits of X and Y → i meriti rispettivi di X e Y
2. nparente m/f


(rəˈleit) verb
1. to tell (a story etc). He related all that had happened to him.
2. (with to) to be about, concerned or connected with. Have you any information relating to the effect of penicillin on mice?
3. (with to) to behave towards. He finds it difficult to relate normally to his mother.
reˈlated adjective
1. belonging to the same family (as). I'm related to the Prime Minister; The Prime Minister and I are related.
2. connected. other related topics.
reˈlation noun
1. a person who belongs to the same family as oneself either by birth or because of marriage. uncles, aunts, cousins and other relations.
2. a relationship (between facts, events etc).
3. (in plural) contact and communications between people, countries etc. to establish friendly relations.
reˈlationship noun
1. the friendship, contact, communications etc which exist between people. He finds it very difficult to form lasting relationships.
2. the fact that, or the way in which, facts, events etc are connected. Is there any relationship between crime and poverty?
3. the state of being related by birth or because of marriage.
relative (ˈrelətiv) noun
a member of one's family; a relation. All his relatives attended the funeral.
1. compared with something else, or with each other, or with a situation in the past etc. the relative speeds of a car and a train; She used to be rich but now lives in relative poverty.
2. (of a pronoun, adjective or clause) referring back to something previously mentioned. the girl who sang the song; the girl who sang the song.
relatively (ˈrelətivli) adverb
when compared to someone or something else. He seems relatively happy now; This is a fairly unimportant problem, relatively speaking.


قَريب příbuzný slægtning Verwandter συγγενής pariente sukulainen parent rođak parente 親戚 친척 familielid slektning krewny parente родственник släkting เครือญาติ göreceli họ hàng 亲戚


1. n. pariente, familiar;
2. gr. pronombre relativo;
a. relativo-a.


n familiar mf, pariente mf; blood — pariente consanguíneo (form), pariente que tiene antepasados en común (con uno); [Note: The RAE lists familiar as masculine only, but feminine usage when referring to females is the norm.]
References in classic literature ?
Gentlemen are sometimes seized with sudden fits of admiration for the young relatives of ladies whom they honor with their regard, but this counterfeit philoprogenitiveness sits uneasily upon them, and does not deceive anybody a particle.
He proclaimed him- self an agnostic and was so absorbed in destroying the ideas of God that had crept into the minds of his neighbors that he never saw God manifesting himself in the little child that, half forgotten, lived here and there on the bounty of her dead mother's relatives.
That statue is yours--all yours," said old Goosal when he had talked with his relatives and friends among the natives.
I was ten years old then; I had lost both my father and mother within a year, and my Virginia relatives were sending me out to my grandparents, who lived in Nebraska.
Partial relatives have almost persuaded me that I am not entirely worthless in a duet myself; and we may enliven our wayfaring by indulging in our favorite pursuit.
If a physician of high standing, and one's own husband, assures friends and relatives that there is really nothing the matter with one but temporary nervous depression--a slight hysterical tendency--what is one to do?
It was the belief of those who knew him best, that he would positively have taken the very singular step of giving up the House of the Seven Gables to the representative of Matthew Maule, but for the unspeakable tumult which a suspicion of the old gentleman's project awakened among his Pyncheon relatives.
Whether any of the relatives of the seamen whose names appeared there were now among the congregation, I knew not; but so many are the unrecorded accidents in the fishery, and so plainly did several women present wear the countenance if not the trappings of some unceasing grief, that I feel sure that here before me were assembled those, in whose unhealing hearts the sight of those bleak tablets sympathetically caused the old wounds to bleed afresh.
Poor Tamoszius was a man without any relatives, and with a wonderful talent besides, and he ought to have made money and prospered; but he had fallen in love, and so given hostages to fortune, and was doomed to be dragged down too.
He was basking in the love of relatives and friends whom he had not seen for fifty years; and about him and caressing him were also descendants of his own body whom he had never seen at all till now; but to him these were all strangers, his memory was gone, his mind was stag- nant.
The captain probably imagined all this, as modern science denies that the intermarrying of relatives deteriorates the stock.
Mothers and fathers of the scholars, as well as relatives to the remotest generation, had been coming on the train and driving into the town since breakfast time; old pupils, both married and single, with and without families, streamed back to the dear old village.