1 between people/groups/countries
ADJ. friendly, good, happy, harmonious, healthy, strong | broken, difficult, failed, fragile, poor, stormy, strained, troubled, uneasy | close, intense, intimate, special Britain's special relationship with the US | enduring, lasting, long-standing, long-term, permanent, serious, stable, steady He was not married, but he was in a stable relationship. | brief, casual | family, human, interpersonal, one-to-one, personal | doctor-patient, parent-child, etc. | business, contractual, formal, marital, physical, power, professional, sexual, social, working | caring, love-hate, loving
VERB + RELATIONSHIP enjoy, have They enjoyed a close working relationship. The school has a very good relationship with the community. He had brief relationships with several women. | begin, build (up), develop, establish, foster Building strong relationships is essential. They established a relationship of trust. | cement, improve, strengthen | continue, maintain | handle, manage He's not very good at handling personal relationships. | break off She broke off the relationship when she found out about his gambling. | destroy Lack of trust destroys many relationships.
RELATIONSHIP + VERB exist We want to improve the relationship that exists between the university and the town. | blossom, deepen, develop | flourish | work I tried everything to make our relationship work. | continue, last | deteriorate, go wrong, worsen | break down, break up, fail
RELATIONSHIP + NOUN difficulties, problems | goals
PREP. in a/the ~ In normal human relationships there has to be some give and take. At the moment he isn't in a relationship. | ~ among The focus is on relationships among European countries. | ~ between, ~ to their relationship to each other | ~ with
PHRASES the breakdown of a relationship, a network/web of relationships
2 family connection
ADJ. blood, family, kin, kinship
PREP. in a/the ~ Some people think only about themselves, even in family relationships. | ~ between ‘What's the relationship between you and Tony?’ ‘He's my cousin.’ | ~ to What relationship are you to Pat?
3 connection between two or more things
ADJ. close There's a close relationship between increased money supply and inflation. | direct | clear | complex | significant | true | particular | inverse, negative the inverse relationship between gas consumption and air temperature | positive | causal, dynamic, reciprocal | linear, spatial | economic, functional, legal | natural, organic | symbolic
VERB + RELATIONSHIP bear, have The fee bears little relationship to the service provided. | examine, explore, look at, study His latest book examines the relationship between spatial awareness and mathematical ability. | discover, find They discovered a relationship between depression and lack of sunlight. | demonstrate, show | see, understand | stand in Women and men stand in a different relationship to language.
PREP. in a/the ~ The different varieties of the language are in a dynamic relationship with each other. | ~ between I can't see the relationship between the figures and the diagram. | ~ to the relationship of a parasite to its host | ~ with
PHRASES the nature of the relationship