Definition of “relative” - 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/

relative adjective [ not gradable ] (COMPARED WITH)

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 /ˈrelətɪv/ us

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 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)