Pronunciation: /rɪˈleɪ ʃən/ ?

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. (Accessed: 2010-01-12).
  2. Gilbert, Jimmie; and Gilbert Linda. Elements of Modern Algebra, 6th edition, pp 48-54. Thomson, Brooks/Cole, 2005.
  3. Relation. WordNet. Princeton University. (Accessed: 2011-01-08).

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Relation. 2008-03-11. All Math Words Encyclopedia. Life is a Story Problem LLC.


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2008-03-11: Initial version (McAdams, David.)

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