Pronunciation: (rel'u-tiv), [key]
1. a person who is connected with another or others by blood or marriage.
2. something having, or standing in, some relation to something else.
3. something dependent upon external conditions for its specific nature, size, etc. (opposed to absolute).
4. Gram.a relative pronoun, adjective, or adverb.
1. considered in relation to something else; comparative: the relative merits of democracy and monarchy.
2. existing or having its specific nature only by relation to something else; not absolute or independent: Happiness is relative.
3. having relation or connection.
4. having reference or regard; relevant; pertinent (usually fol. by to): to determine the facts relative to an accident.
5. correspondent; proportionate: Value is relative to demand.
6. (of a term, name, etc.) depending for significance upon something else: “Better” is a relative term.
a. noting or pertaining to a word that introduces a subordinate clause of which it is, or is a part of, the subject or predicate and that refers to an expressed or implied element of the principal clause (the antecedent), as the relative pronoun who in He's the man who saw you or the relative adverb where in This is the house where she was born.
b. noting or pertaining to a relative clause.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.