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Definition of Relative

(noun) An individual’s relationship to another individual or group through blood (consanguinity), marriage (affinity), or adoption, or fictive ties.

Example of Relative

Types of Relative

Relative Pronunciation

Pronunciation Usage Guide

Syllabification: rel·a·tive

Audio Pronunciation

– American English
– British English

Phonetic Spelling

  • American English – /rEl-uh-tiv/
  • British English – /rE-luh-tiv/

International Phonetic Alphabet

  • American English – /ˈrɛlədɪv/
  • British English – /ˈrɛlətɪv/

Usage Notes

  • Plural: relatives
  • The terms relative and kin (short for kinship) are interchangeable.
  • Descendants are relatives of a common ancestor.
  • Also called relation.
  • When my father married my mother, he (verb) relativized with her family and is (adverb) relatively (adjective) related to his new (noun) relatives and they share a (noun) relationship and (noun) relativity.

Additional Information

Related Terms

Cite the Definition of Relative

ASA – American Sociological Association (5th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2014. “relative.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Retrieved March 5, 2024 (https://sociologydictionary.org/relative/).

APA – American Psychological Association (6th edition)

relative. (2014). In K. Bell (Ed.), Open education sociology dictionary. Retrieved from https://sociologydictionary.org/relative/

Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date – Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2014. “relative.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Accessed March 5, 2024. https://sociologydictionary.org/relative/.

MLA – Modern Language Association (7th edition)

“relative.” Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Ed. Kenton Bell. 2014. Web. 5 Mar. 2024. <https://sociologydictionary.org/relative/>.