Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “relative”


adjective (CONNECTED)    /ˈrel.ə.tɪv/ US  /-t̬ɪv/ formal
relative to C2 If something is relative to something else, it changes according to the speed or level of the other thing: The amount of petrol a car uses is relative to its speed.Linking and relatingRegarding and concerning If something is relative to a particular subject, it is connected with it: Are these documents relative to the discussion?Linking and relatingRegarding and concerning
(Definition of relative adjective (CONNECTED) from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
Focus on the pronunciation of relative

Definitions of “relative” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day


a document given to students or reporters which contains information about a particular subject

Word of the Day


Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More