Definition for REL'A-TIVE

REL'A-TIVE, a. [Fr. relatif; L. relativus.]

  1. Having relation; respecting. The arguments may be good, but they are not relative to the subject.
  2. Not absolute or existing by itself; considered as belonging to or respecting something else. Every thing sustains both an absolute and a relative capacity; an absolute, as it is such a thing, endued with such a nature; and a relative, as it is a part of the universe, and so stands in such a relation to the whole. – South.
  3. Incident to man in society; as, relative rights and duties.
  4. Particular; positive. [Not in use.] – Shak. Relative mode, in music, the mode which the composer interweaves with the principal mode in the flow of the harmony. – Encyc. Relative terms, in logic, terms which imply relation, as guardian and ward; master and servant; husband and wife. Relative word, in grammar, a word which relates to another word, called its antecedent, or to a sentence or member of a sentence, or to a series of sentences.

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