Relative Definition

Related each to the other; dependent upon or referring to each other.
To stay in the same relative positions.
Webster's New World
Regarded in relation to something else; comparative.
Living in relative comfort.
Webster's New World
Pertinent; relevant.
Documents relative to a legal case.
Webster's New World
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.
American Heritage
Meaningful only in relationship; not absolute.
“cold” is a relative term.
Webster's New World
A person connected with another by blood, marriage, etc.; kinsman or kinswoman.
Webster's New World
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.
American Heritage Medicine
A relative word, term, or thing.
Webster's New World
A plant or animal in the same taxonomic division as another.
Webster's New World
A person who is akin to another by virtue of blood; that is a blood relation, such as sister, brother, aunt, uncle, parent, child, and so on.
Webster's New World Law
relative to
  • relevant to; concerning; about
  • corresponding to; in proportion to
Webster's New World

Other Word Forms of Relative



Idioms, Phrasal Verbs Related to Relative

Origin of Relative

  • Middle English from Old French relatif from Late Latin relātīvus from Latin relātus past participle of referre to relate relate

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • From Latin relativus, from relatus, perfect passive participle of referre (“to carry back, to ascribe"), from re- (“again") + ferre (“to bear or carry")

    From Wiktionary

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