Pronunciation: /rɪˈleɪ ʃən/ Explain

Venn diagram showing functions is a subset of relations
Figure 1: Venn diagram showing that functions are a subset of relations.

A relation is a property that associates two variables. It can be considered as a set of ordered pairs. An example of a relation is x2 + y2 = 1. A relation may or may not also be a function. An example of a relation that is a function is y = x + 2.


  1. Bettinger, Alvin K. and Englund, John A.. Algebra and Trigonometry. pp 12-14. International Textbook Company. January 1963. Last Accessed 1/12/2010. Buy the book
  2. Gilbert, Jimmie; and Gilbert Linda. Elements of Modern Algebra. 6th edition. pp 48-54. Thomson, Brooks/Cole. 2005. Buy the book

Cite this article as:

McAdams, David E. Relation. 5/5/2011. All Math Words Encyclopedia. Life is a Story Problem LLC.

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3/11/2008: Initial version. (McAdams, David E.)

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