Meaning of “relative clause” in the English Dictionary

american-english dictionary

"relative clause" in British English

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relative clausenoun [ C ]

uk /ˌrel.ə.tɪv ˈklɔːz/ us /ˌrel.ə.t̬ɪv ˈklɑːz/ specialized

part of a sentence that cannot exist independently and describes a noun that comes before it in the main part of the sentence:

In the sentence "The woman who I met was wearing a brown hat", "who I met" is a relative clause.

More examples

  • In the sentence 'The restaurant that we went to has closed', 'that we went to' is a relative clause.
  • In the sentence 'The man that Diana was speaking to was my ex-boss', the phrase 'that Diane was speaking to' is a relative clause.

(Definition of “relative clause” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"relative clause" in American English

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relative clausenoun [ C ]

us /ˈrel·ə·t̬ɪv ˈklɔz/

grammar a clause in a sentence that cannot exist independently, begins with a relative pronoun, and describes a noun that comes before it:

In the sentence "The movie that we saw was very good," "that we saw" is a relative clause.

(Definition of “relative clause” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)