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relative
used in a sentence

3 meanings
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1  —as in:
the relative importance
Definition compared with something else (not an absolute value or not complete)
  • I am comparing the relative benefits of both proposals.
relative = compared with something else (in this case comparing the benefits of each proposal to the other rather than looking for some absolute benefit)
Other Uses (with this meaning)
  • I feel poor compared to some of my classmates, but I know I am rich relative to most people in the world.
  • How does our cost and profit change relative to sales volume?
relative = compared (in this case looking at the changes in cost and profit at different levels of sales volume)

Dictionary / pronunciation — Google®Dictionary / more samples — Oxford® USDictionary list — Onelook.com®
2  —as in:
they are relatives
Definition connected in various senses such as:
  • a person related by blood or marriage
  • a plant or animal related by origin or grouping
  • Police are searching for friends or relatives who might know something about her plans that night.
relatives = family members (related by blood or marriage)
Other Uses (with this meaning)
  • I have relatives in California.
  • relatives = extended family members (related by blood or marriage)
  • She found a fossil of an early mammal relative that roamed the area 300 million years ago.
  • Be smarter than I was: Go talk to Grandma and Grandpa, Mom and Dad and other relatives and friends.
    Christopher Paul Curtis  --  Bud, Not Buddy
  • It was Ali's mom and dad, her brother, her grandparents, and some others who must've been relatives.
    Sara Shepard  --  Pretty Little Liars
  • Some of the angriest letters-and by far the most disturbing to readcame from relatives of the deceased.
    Jon Krakauer  --  Into Thin Air
  • When she awakened, she was in the home of her niece's relatives and the baby was being fed barley water.
    Joy Kogawa  --  Obasan
  • How come their relatives couldn't come and warn them?"
    Christopher Paul Curtis  --  The Watsons Go to Birmingham—1963
  • Any of my relatives, I mean.
    J.D. Salinger  --  The Catcher in the Rye
  • Later, when the relatives began to come for the funeral, the affair became public, and the children became social beings.
    D.H. Lawrence  --  Sons and Lovers

Dictionary / pronunciation — Google®Dictionary / more samples — Oxford® USDictionary list — Onelook.com®
3  —as in:
questions relative to the topic
Definition related to
  • I have some additional questions relative to the issue we discussed last night.
relative = related to
  • Are there questions relative to our discussion?
relative = related to

Dictionary / more samples — Oxford® USDictionary list — Onelook.com®
Less commonly:
More specialized and less common senses of the word are found in philosophy, grammar, and music. Consult a comprehensive dictionary if you wish to see those. All senses have to do with relationships.
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