I'm rating the performance of things in different dimensions on a scale, e.g. [--, -, 0, +, ++]. This ranking only describes the relative performance in one dimension, without referring to other things in the outside world or one of the other dimensions.

If I say,

... the performance of the things in the dimensions is rated relatively.

, I'm not sure that this concept gets conveyed to the reader correctly.

Is there a more fitting word to describe the confinedness of the ratings?

  • 1
    Please add the rest of that sentence, relative to what?
    – terdon
    Jan 16, 2014 at 13:41
  • Exactly that is my problem, relatively to itself, or more precisely, relatively to the other members in the group of things. So it's a reflexive "relative". Jan 16, 2014 at 13:46
  • 2
    *the performance of each of the things in the dimensions is rated relative to the others.
    – Kris
    Jan 16, 2014 at 15:04

3 Answers 3


I think you want to restrict comparisons to members of a particular set, and have no comparison outside that set. For example, you want to compare your company's products A and B and not to consider any other company's similar products.

The performance of the things is compared against each other

You could add "without reference to anything else" to make it perfectly explicit.

Unfortunately I can't find a dictionary reference to explain against each other, although the phrase is used in nearly forty definitions in OED. However the use of each other does nicely match your description as "reflexive relative".


This is very hard to answer without more context. The constrict you are using in your example is quite clumsy, could you change it to one of

The table below shows the relative performance of the items.

Performance scores are given relative to one another.


It's hard to generalize without more concrete details, but something like:

...the performance of the things are contrasted/compared in the dimension of ...

For example:

The performances of the rockets are compared [only] in terms of relative acceleration.

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