In the sentence "people who like apples also like swimming", is there a word to describe the relationship between apples and swimming? They're only related by the fact that people like both of them.

An alternative way of describing the relationship would be "appeal to the same demographic".

  • 1
    Positively correlated. – deadrat Aug 11 '15 at 12:13
  • Trying for one word if possible - this is for a UI – rikkit Aug 11 '15 at 12:16
  • 3
    'Correlated' is usually sufficient, although 'Correlation does not imply causation'. – Edwin Ashworth Aug 11 '15 at 12:18
  • or just 'related' – Mitch Aug 11 '15 at 13:01

A few words come to mind, associated and correlated:


Connect (something) with something else because they occur together or one produces another

"When dwarf faunas are found in the fossil record, they are invariably associated with times of environmental stress."


Each of two or more related or complementary things

"Rodent studies have shown that antidepressants stimulate the growth of new neurons, and that this correlates with their mood-elevating effects."

  • Thanks, associated seems to fit best. It's still a bit vague though I guess there really aren't any words to strongly describe the concept. – rikkit Aug 11 '15 at 13:57
  • @rikkit - There are words to strongly describe the concept: positively correlated as given in a comment. The fact that you personally don't like them doesn't mean they aren't a perfect description! – AndyT Aug 11 '15 at 16:13
  • @AndyT Firstly, "positively correlated" doesn't describe the relationship between the two objects very well - the relationship is that people like both of them. It doesn't seem right in the context of my original sentence... if A is +vely correlated with B, and B with C, it's wrong to say that A is +vely correlated with C. "Associated" (and indeed "correlated" on its own" are vague enough to handle the indirect relationship. As to why "associated" is better than "correlated" for me is that "associated" implies a stronger relationship. Secondly... the question is tagged "single word" :) – rikkit Aug 11 '15 at 16:34
  • @rikkit - Sorry, I misunderstood. I thought that you wanted a word to describe that people who like apples also tend to like swimming; whereas (as I now understand it) you want a word to describe that people who like apples also tend to like swimming. So you want a single word for appeal to the same demographic? I think if you edit my words in bold into your original question (assuming they're right, of course!) you may get some answers from a different angle. – AndyT Aug 11 '15 at 17:23
  • 1
    @AndyT Yeah, that's exactly right and a much better way of phrasing the question. I've edited it in, thanks – rikkit Aug 12 '15 at 10:37

If apples and swimming are only related by the fact that certain people like both, then, in a sense, they really share no link at all, but merely appear to do so. In such circumstances people sometimes say that there is a tenuous link between them.

Tenuous: Very weak or slight

  • 'the tenuous link between interest rates and investment'


  • The two things don't really share any links, true, but it just so happens that, for us, the most important aspect is that people who like one like the other :). Also I think "tenuous" has a disparaging connotation.. it's a polite way of saying the relationship is irrelevant – rikkit Aug 11 '15 at 14:00

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