- 1considered and judged by being compared with something else the relative merits of the two plans
- 2relative (to something) considered according to its position or connection with something else the position of the sun relative to the earth
- 3[only before noun] that exists or that has a particular quality only when compared with something else synonym comparative They now live in relative comfort (= compared with how they lived before). Given the failure of the previous plan, this turned out to be a relative success. It's all relative, isn't it? We never had any money when I was a kid so $500 was a fortune to us. compare absolute
- 4relative to something (formal) having a connection with something; referring to something the facts relative to the case
- 5(grammar) referring to an earlier noun, sentence, or part of a sentence In “the man who came,” “who” is a relative pronoun and “who came” is a relative clause.
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