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Words used to describe relations and relationships

acquainted

adjective

if two people are acquainted, they know each other, usually not very well

arm’s-length

adjective

used for describing something such as a business deal in which the different sides avoid having a close relationship with each other

brittle

adjective

a brittle relationship or situation is not very strong and could easily be damaged

broken

adjective

a broken relationship has failed

bromantic

adjective

typical of or relating to a very close friendship between two men

brotherly

adjective

typical of the feelings that a man or boy has for his male friends

chummy

adjective

chummy people are friendly with each other, especially in a way that stops other people from joining the group

clannish

adjective

concentrating on people in your own family or group and not wanting other people to join it

close

adjective

connected by shared interests and shared feelings such as love and respect

close

adjective

used about relationships

close

adjective

directly involved with someone and communicating with them a lot, especially as part of your job

close

adjective

used about activities or relationships

connected

adjective

used about people who have a social, business, or family relationship

cosy

adjective

a cosy relationship, in business or politics, involves people who seem to be using their relationship in a dishonest way to get benefits for each other

cozy

the American spelling of cosy1

dysfunctional

adjective

dysfunctional relationships do not work normally and are not happy or successful

estranged

adjective

not seeing friends or relatives very often, especially because of having fought with them

fragile

adjective

used about a situation, agreement, or relationship that can easily be damaged or destroyed

fraternal

adjective

belonging to brothers, or between brothers

fraternal

adjective

between friends or people who share the same interests or opinions

friendly

adjective

if you are friendly with someone, you are their friend

go back

if two people go back a particular period of time, they have known each other for that period of time

have

verb

used for stating the relationship between someone and their family members

have

verb

used for stating the relationship between someone and their friends, enemies, people they work with etc

heavy

adjective

a heavy situation or relationship is serious and often not enjoyable

illicit

adjective

an illicit relationship, activity, or situation is one that people do not approve of

immediate

adjective

someone in an immediate relationship to you is closely connected to you

inseparable

adjective

people who are inseparable have a very close relationship and spend all their time together

interpersonal

adjective

involving relationships between people

intimate

adjective

an intimate friend is someone who you know very well and like very much

intimate

adjective

an intimate relationship is a very close personal relationship, especially a sexual one

intimate

adjective

relating to sex or to a sexual relationship

long-lost

adjective

a long-lost person, especially a relative, is someone who you have not seen for a long time

loveless

adjective

without love

maternal

adjective

a maternal relative is related to you through your mother

matrilineal

adjective

used for describing the mother’s side of a family and the relations on that side

monogamous

adjective

having only one husband, wife, or sexual relationship at a time

mouth

noun

someone who you have to provide food for

one-sided

adjective

in a one-sided relationship, one person does more than the other person or shows more love than the other person

one-to-one

adjective

a one-to-one relationship involves equal amounts or equal numbers of two things

one-way

adjective

a one-way relationship, agreement etc is one in which only one of the people involved tries to make it succeed

patriarchal

adjective

typical of a patriarch

patrilineal

adjective

used for describing the father’s side of a family and the relations on that side

personal

adjective

involving a direct relationship between two people who know each other

personally

adverb

as a result of having met someone or of having a relationship with them, usually a friendly one

platonic

adjective

a platonic relationship is one that is friendly but does not involve sex

political

adjective

relating to relationships of power that exist between people in an organization

related

adjective

having the same origins and belonging to the same group

rocky

adjective

a rocky relationship, situation, or period of time is one in which there are a lot of problems

same-sex

adjective

used for referring to sexual relationships involving either two men or two women

serious

adjective

if you are in a serious romantic relationship with someone, you intend to stay together for a long time

sexual

adjective

concerning relationships between men and women, or the way that people think men and women should behave

shifting

adjective

shifting things such as standards or relationships are always changing

strong

adjective

strong relationships are close and firmly established

suited

adjective

if two people are suited, they are likely to have a successful relationship

thick

adjective

very friendly with someone

tight

adjective

a tight group of people have a close relationship with each other

unstable

adjective

an unstable system, situation, or relationship often has serious problems

warming

noun

the process of becoming more friendly

affiliated

adjective

intimately

adverb

monogamously

adverb

platonically

adverb

polyandrous

adjective

polygamous

adjective

symbiotic

adjective

a hungry mouth (to feed)

someone who is depending on you to provide food

an old friend/ally/enemy etc

someone who has been your friend/ally/enemy etc for a very long time

an old student/girlfriend etc

someone who was your student/girlfriend etc in the past

(as) thick as thieves

people who are thick as thieves are very friendly with each other and spend a lot of time together talking about private things

at arm’s length

in a situation where you avoid dealing with or becoming involved with someone else

be on good/bad/friendly etc terms

to have a good, bad, or friendly relationship with someone

get along/on famously

to have a very friendly relationship with someone

not on speaking terms

if two people are not on speaking terms, they are very angry with each other and will not talk to each other

on the right/wrong side of someone

if you are on the right or wrong side of someone, they like/do not like you

have a nodding acquaintance with someone/be on nodding terms with someone

to know someone well enough to say ‘hello’ to them, but not know them very well

the best of friends

very close friends

sandwich generation

a generation … who are balancing working life with caring for both their teenage children and elderly parents

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary

dish

to gossip or share personal information with someone …

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