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. McAdams, David E.. All Math Words Dictionary, relation. 2nd Classroom edition 20150108-4799968. pg 154. Life is a Story Problem LLC. January 8, 2015. Buy the book
  2. Bettinger, Alvin K. and Englund, John A.. Algebra and Trigonometry. pp 12-14. International Textbook Company. January 1963. Last Accessed 12/4/2018. Buy the book
  3. 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. 5/2/2019. All Math Words Encyclopedia. Life is a Story Problem LLC.

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Revision History

5/2/2019: Changed equations and expressions to new format. (McAdams, David E.)
12/21/2018: Reviewed and corrected IPA pronunication. (McAdams, David E.)
12/4/2018: Removed broken links, updated license, implemented new markup. (McAdams, David E.)
3/11/2008: Initial version. (McAdams, David E.)

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