relative Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo
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Meaning of “relative” in the English Dictionary

"relative" in British English

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relativenoun [C]

uk   /ˈrel.ə.tɪv/  us   /ˈrel.ə.t̬ɪv/
B1 a member of your family: I don't have many blood relatives (= people related to me by birth rather than by marriage). All her close/distant relatives came to the wedding.

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relativeadjective

uk   /ˈrel.ə.tɪv/  us   /ˈrel.ə.t̬ɪv/ formal
  • relative adjective (COMPARING)

C1 being judged or measured in comparison with something else: We weighed up the relative advantages of driving there or going by train.
true to a particular degree when compared with other things: Since I got a job, I've been living in relative comfort (= more comfort than before).

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  • relative adjective (CONNECTED)

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.
If something is relative to a particular subject, it is connected with it: Are these documents relative to the discussion?
(Definition of relative from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"relative" in American English

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relativeadjective [not gradable]

 us   /ˈrel·ə·t̬ɪv/
as judged or measured in comparison with something else: We considered the relative merits of flying to Washington or taking the train. Relative to (= Considering) birthweight, the newborns were doing well.
relatively
adverb [not gradable]  us   /ˈrel·ə·t̬ɪv·li/
The stereo was relatively inexpensive.

relativenoun [C]

 us   /ˈrel·ə·t̬ɪv/
  • relative noun [C] (FAMILY)

a member of your family: All her relatives came to the wedding.
(Definition of relative from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"relative" in Business English

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relativeadjective

uk   us   /ˈrelətɪv/
having a particular characteristic or value compared to other things of a similar type: The Chancellor of the Exchequer talked about the UK's relative growth performance compared with "core" Europe. relative importance/strength/sizerelative cost/price International borrowers have seen the relative cost of their loans rise slightly in the past six months.a relative newcomer/unknown The firm is a relative newcomer to the world of futures trading.
relative to sth
compared to something else: Official figures probably understate Europe's growth relative to America. Pay in many white-collar jobs has been stagnating relative to inflation.relative to earnings/income/sales Motoring costs are forecast to increase even further over the next ten years relative to income.relative to sb's competitors/peers Steps taken now to address climate change can improve a company's competitive position relative to its peers.
(Definition of relative from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
Translations of “relative”
in Arabic قَريب…
in Korean 친척…
in Portuguese parente…
in Catalan parent, -a…
in Japanese 親戚, 身内…
in Chinese (Simplified) 亲戚, 亲属…
in Turkish akraba…
in Russian родственник…
in Chinese (Traditional) 親戚, 親屬…
in Italian parente…
in Polish krewn-y/a…
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“relative” in Business English

A blazing row: words and phrases for arguing and arguments
A blazing row: words and phrases for arguing and arguments
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May 04, 2016
by Kate Woodford We can’t always focus on the positive! This week, we’re looking at the language that is used to refer to arguing and arguments, and the differences in meaning between the various words and phrases. There are several words that suggest that people are arguing about something that is not important. (As you might

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