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as in: the relative importance Define
compared with something else (not an absolute value or not complete)
  • I am comparing the relative benefits of both proposals.
  • How does our cost and profit change relative to sales volume?

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  • I feel poor compared to some of my classmates, but I know I am rich relative to most people in the world.
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as in: they are relatives Define
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.
  • I have relatives in California.

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  • She found a fossil of an early mammal relative that roamed the area 300 million years ago.
  • But I, all of us, her relatives, all who love her, beg you, entreat you.
    Leo Tolstoy  --  Anna Karenina
  • He went once or twice with his mother to visit their relatives: and though they passed a jovial array of shops lit up and adorned for Christmas his mood of embittered silence did not leave him.
    James Joyce  --  A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
  • The only changes I am conscious of are, firstly, that I had grown more shabby, and secondly, that I was now relieved of much of the weight of Mr. and Mrs. Micawber’s cares; for some relatives or friends had engaged to help them at their present pass, and they lived more comfortably in the prison than they had lived for a long while out of it.
    Charles Dickens  --  David Copperfield
  • He lived his spiritual life without any communion with others, visiting his relatives at Christmas and escorting them to the cemetery when they died.
    James Joyce  --  Dubliners
  • We are ashamed of everything that is real about us; ashamed of ourselves, of our relatives, of our incomes, of our accents, of our opinions, of our experience, just as we are ashamed of our naked skins.
    George Bernard Shaw  --  Man And Superman
  • But it got out somehow, though awkwardly enough; and having disposed of it, he shook hands with his two relatives, and abruptly left them.
    Charles Dickens  --  Nicholas Nickleby
  • Only relatives, or creditors, ever ring in that Wagnerian manner.
    Oscar Wilde  --  The Importance of Being Earnest

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  • She wondered if they had any relatives outside the mill, for in that case there must be a painful difficulty in their family intercourse,—a fat and floury spider, accustomed to take his fly well dusted with meal, must suffer a little at a cousin’s table where the fly was au naturel, and the lady spiders must be mutually shocked at each other’s appearance.
    George Eliot  --  The Mill on the Floss
  • She had forgotten her relatives, who were drifting out into the hall under Ellen Olenska’s guidance.
    Edith Wharton  --  The Age of Innocence
  • While the others drifted, often by chance, often through relatives, into their various classes, Martin remained doubtful.
    Sinclair Lewis  --  Arrowsmith
  • Surrounded by a black border were the words: "Praskovya Fedorovna Golovina, with profound sorrow, informs relatives and friends of the demise of her beloved husband Ivan Ilych Golovin, Member of the Court of Justice, which occurred on February the 4th of this year 1882. the funeral will take place on Friday at one o’clock in the afternoon.
    Leo Tolstoy  --  The Death of Ivan Ilych
  • They all seemed to look like relatives of the Duke . the late Duke.
    Frank Herbert  --  Dune
  • Ethan had seen the couple the summer before at Shadd’s Falls, where they had come to visit relatives.
    Edith Wharton  --  Ethan Frome
  • It was American pipetobacco that he wanted, but my relatives had stopped sending it or it was being held up.
    Ernest Hemingway  --  A Farewell to Arms
  • The two relatives—the young maid and the old one—found time before nightfall, in the intervals of trade, to make rapid advances towards affection and confidence.
    Nathaniel Hawthorne  --  The House of the Seven Gables
  • Many women had come thither to mourn, until their death, for relatives, lovers, faults.
    Victor Hugo  --  The Hunchback of Notre Dame
  • Has he any relatives?
    Agatha Christie  --  Murder On The Orient Express
  • But if you think my loving relatives will have time to discuss you, you don’t know them.
    Eugene O’Neill  --  The Iceman Cometh
  • Except the relatives.
    Truman Capote  --  In Cold Blood
  • Gentlemen are sometimes seized with sudden fits of admiration for the young relatives of ladies whom they honor with their regard, but this counterfeit philoprogenitiveness sits uneasily upon them, and does not deceive anybody a particle.
    Louisa May Alcott  --  Little Women
  • All the relatives of both families had been invited, quarrels between friends arranged, acquaintances long since lost sight of written to.
    Gustave Flaubert  --  Madame Bovary
  • He had relatives in Bismarck, a German settlement to the north of us, but for a year now he had been working for grandfather.
    Willa Cather  --  My Antonia
  • So long as some one of his relatives had a house he was sure of a home, and it was unlikely that so large a family would all go bankrupt.
    E.M. Forster  --  A Passage to India
  • He had delivered a melancholy oration previous to his funeral, and had doubtless in the packet of letters, presented various keepsakes to relatives.
    Stephen Crane  --  The Red Badge of Courage
  • They were merely indulging in the ordinary vivacious chat of relatives who have long been parted in person though not in soul.
    Thomas Hardy  --  The Return of the Native
  • Have you relatives?
    Theodore Dreiser  --  Sister Carrie
  • Art pointed out that his investigation into the death of Carl Heine had led him, quite naturally, to ask questions of Carl’s relatives.
    David Guterson  --  Snow Falling on Cedars
  • 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
  • For constantly, after meeting M. Vinteuil, he would remember that he had been meaning for a long time to ask him about some one of the same name as himself, one of his relatives, Swann supposed.
    Marcel Proust  --  Swann’s Way
  • Stoddard had no near relatives.
    Grace MacGowan Cooke  --  The Power and the Glory
  • A priest walks in, sits down, tells the weeping relatives to get out and has the room sealed.
    Don DeLillo  --  White Noise
  • I propose, M. Poirot, a kind of special legion to work under your orders-composed of the friends and relatives of the murdered people.
    Agatha Christie  --  The ABC Murders
  • Visiting relatives or friends, but why wouldn’t she just bunk with said relatives or friends?
    Nora Roberts  --  Blood Brothers
  • I need relatives, loved ones, associates, too.
    J.D. Robb  --  Glory in Death
  • -E. M. Forster "With all my devotion to the Union and the feeling of loyalty and duty of an American citizen, I have not been able to raise my hand against my relatives, my children, my home.
    Michael Shaara  --  The Killer Angels
  • The Cambers had gone to visit relatives.
    Stephen King  --  Cujo
  • She turned her face down the hill to her relatives, and regarded the little group.
    Thomas Hardy  --  Tess of the d’Urbervilles
  • I came to Paris for a few days because my relatives in Lyon are simply too dull.
    Robert Ludlum  --  The Bourne Identity
  • Each end was usually clogged with tense spectators and relatives, for the ritual was usually fore-cast with great accuracy-eighteen was the most common age (those who had not made their test by the age of twenty-five usually slipped into obscurity as freeholders, unable to face the brutal all-or-nothing fact of the field and the test).
    Stephen King  --  The Gunslinger
  • If a physician of high standing, and one’s own husband, assures friends and relatives that there is really nothing the matter with one but temporary nervous depression—a slight hysterical tendency—what is one to do?
    Charlotte Perkins Gilman  --  The Yellow Wallpaper
  • They were the Blaines of Lake Geneva; they had quite enough relatives to serve in place of friends, and an enviable standing from Pasadena to Cape Cod.
    F. Scott Fitzgerald  --  This Side of Paradise
  • He proclaimed himself an agnostic and was so absorbed in destroying the ideas of God that had crept into the minds of his neighbors that he never saw God manifesting himself in the little child that, half forgotten, lived here and there on the bounty of her dead mother’s relatives.
    Sherwood Anderson  --  Winesburg, Ohio
  • We removed everything of a personal nature from bodies of our departed comrades—tor relatives, for identification, for sentiment.
    Robert A. Heinlein  --  The Moon is a Harsh Mistress
  • All right, so we’ve got two illustrious relatives who want to meet privately but go about it in a very complicated way.
    Robert Ludlum  --  The Bourne Ultimatum
  • The Shan was visiting with relatives while waiting his appointment with the Masters of Karma.
    Roger Zelazny  --  Lord of Light
  • It struck me that they might be relatives.
    Roger Zelazny  --  My Name is Legion
  • No visions of relatives appeared behind my eyes.
    Roger Zelazny  --  Nine Princes in Amber
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as in: questions relative to the topic Define
related to
  • I have some additional questions relative to the issue we discussed last night.
  • Are there questions relative to our discussion?
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  • If I was a relative of yours I’d shoot myself.
    John Steinbeck  --  Of Mice and Men
  • One tony relative in every family.
    James Joyce  --  Ulysses

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  • I wrote to Mrs. General Epanchin at the time (she is a distant relative of mine), but she did not answer my letter.
    Fyodor Dostoyevsky  --  The Idiot
  • But she said nothing, to him, relative to the affair, until they were both out in the yard behind the barn milking the cows.
    Lucy Maud Montgomery  --  Anne Of Green Gables
  • As for Carol, she was an orphan; her only near relative was a vanilla-flavored sister married to an optician in St. Paul.
    Sinclair Lewis  --  Main Street
  • Of course, ’investment’ is a relative term.
    Ayn Rand  --  Atlas Shrugged
  • We might, for example, have wanted to breed her to a close relative to set up a dominant in some genetic trait.
    Frank Herbert  --  Dune
  • It was relative, like the grading curve in high school.
    Susanna Kaysen  --  Girl Interrupted
  • Even though she was not a blood relative of Harry’s (whose mother had been Aunt Petunia’s sister), he had been forced to call her "Aunt" all his life.
    J.K. Rowling  --  Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
  • D’you think I’m proud of having a relative like her?’
    J.K. Rowling  --  Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

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  • It’s a relative quality, after all.
    Edith Wharton  --  The House of Mirth
  • It was hot now, but the sun was high and to his rear and he sat in the shade of the tree in relative comfort.
    Gary Paulsen  --  Hatchet
  • For a while I was punished for being so uppity that I wouldn’t speak; and then came the thrashings, given by any relative who felt himself offended.
    Maya Angelou  --  I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
  • The miscreant, a bony young man scorched black by the sun, rose to greet her with the courtesy of a host and the assurance of a relative.
    E.M. Forster  --  A Room With A View
  • Her steps and her gaze were the cautious ones of a child approaching a nervous, idle relative (someone dependent but proud).
    Toni Morrison  --  Beloved
  • This allusion to the fate of William Rufus, his Relative, at once incensed and alarmed Prince John.
    Sir Walter Scott  --  Ivanhoe
  • We keep it at ninety-nine degrees Fahrenheit and a relative humidity of one hundred percent.
    Michael Crichton  --  Jurassic Park
  • For why should my uncle play a part with a relative that came, almost a beggar, to his door, unless in his heart he had some cause to fear him?
    Robert Louis Stevenson  --  Kidnapped
  • Never collect anything but advertisements relative to next of kin.
    Charles Dickens  --  Little Dorrit
  • Their agreement with him was made before they left the old country, through a cousin of his, who was also a relative of Mrs. Shimerda.
    Willa Cather  --  My Antonia
  • Then suddenly Batia Reich, a relative who was living with us, came into the room.
    Elie Wiesel  --  Night
  • It was the Moslem sabbath, when families gather together in the home of the eldest relative to spend extra time in prayer.
    Betty Mahmoody  --  Not Without My Daughter
  • Good Madame, recommend us to the prayers of your sainted relative, Monsieur the Cardinal.
    Victor Hugo  --  Les Miserables
  • But we have reversed the relative significance of these things.
    Don DeLillo  --  White Noise
  • Shall we say that Hastings, here, is a distant relative of yours, the son of your second cousin?
    Agatha Christie  --  Early Cases Of Hercule Poirot
  • Hoping for relative quiet, she jogged west down a cross street and ended up fuming behind a clicking microbus.
    J.D. Robb  --  Naked in Death
  • It wasn’t the order but the relative calm with which it was delivered that had Eve shifting.
    J.D. Robb  --  Immortal in Death
  • I may be in contact with you shortly relative to messages I expect will have been sent to me.
    Robert Ludlum  --  The Bourne Identity
  • ’You were described as being overwrought — "raving" was the word that was used and making astonishing accusations relative to your wife, yes.’
    Robert Ludlum  --  The Bourne Supremacy
  • This Reese might be a relative.
    Louis L’Amour  --  The Broken Gun
  • Karim was a people smuggler—it was a pretty lucrative business then, driving people out of Shorawi-occupied Kabul to the relative safety of Pakistan.
    Khaled Hosseini  --  The Kite Runner
  • Time is relative, baby, he thought, and stuck in eight quarters.
    Stephen King  --  The Shining
  • Because it’s all relative.
    Tim O’Brien  --  The Things They Carried
  • Sometimes a man came to consult the spirit of his dead father or relative.
    Chinua Achebe  --  Things Fall Apart
  • Was there a "secret" at Bly—a mystery of Udolpho or an insane, an unmentionable relative kept in unsuspected confinement?
    Henry James  --  The Turn of the Screw
  • It is an interesting question how far men would retain their relative rank if they were divested of their clothes.
    Henry David Thoreau  --  Walden
  • I’m treating you like a relative.
    Alfred Bester  --  The Demolished Man
  • No, she’s not even a relative.
    Robert A. Heinlein  --  Glory Road
  • The great man and his illustrious relative from Boston, Massachusetts.
    Robert Ludlum  --  The Bourne Ultimatum
  • It was as if he’d never received a good word from a relative before.
    Roger Zelazny  --  Nine Princes in Amber
  • The ferocious droves of mosquitoes forced Arya to cast a protective spell so that they could eat dinner in relative comfort.
    Christopher Paolini  --  Eldest
  • Woref spit into the leaves and walked deeper, leaving the relative safety of the meadow behind.
    Ted Dekker  --  White: The Great Pursuit
  • It wasn’t until the mid-1980s, in fact, that a Canadian psychologist named Roger Barnsley first drew attention to the phenomenon of relative age.
    Malcolm Gladwell  --  Outliers
  • Despite its beauty and relative isolation, the road he was following wasn’t for children.
    Nicholas Sparks  --  A Bend in the Road
  • He just said you had gone to visit a sick relative, and that your phone probably just didn’t work out in the country.
    Cassandra Clare  --  City of Bones
  • Happiness was relative, according to her husband.
    Jodi Picoult  --  Nineteen Minutes
  • Of course, "towered" was a relative term, since it seemed to be the only hill in this part of the state.
    Nicholas Sparks  --  True Believer
  • He turned at the sound of her footsteps and had to screw his eyes up to see into the relative dark of the corridor.
    Nicholas Evans  --  The Horse Whisperer
  • Of course, playful was a relative term.
    Nicholas Sparks  --  The Guardian
  • Even in such a world of relative morality, causing harm to a child is still considered absolutely wrong.
    William P. Young  --  The Shack
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