Is it possible to describe the relation between two countries as "negative" and "tepid"?

Are there any better alternatives usually used in media texts?

closed as unclear what you're asking by vickyace, TrevorD, user140086, NVZ, tchrist Jun 5 '16 at 19:47

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    You'll have to narrow down the type of relation between them. Like positive /negative aspects, ties, etc. – vickyace Jun 4 '16 at 20:31
  • It is negative. What I meant is whether those adjectives are usually used in such context or not. Would it sound weird to describe a relation as tepid? – Ohood.94 Jun 4 '16 at 21:20

Tepid, whch means "lukewarm" according to Merriam-Webster, has been used to describe relations between two countries. For example, The Christian Science Monitor in an article on May 30, 2003 describes a cooling of relations between the US and Russia as "more tepid":

For US-Russia relations, a more tepid tête-à-tête

No more 'goo-goo eyes,' but plenty to talk about as Bush and Putin meet this weekend

WASHINGTON AND MOSCOW — President Bush meets this weekend with Russian President Vladimir Putin in the splendor of a refurbished St. Petersburg. But all the gilt and exterior pastels of a czar's palace won't be able to distract attention from the lost specialness and mutual disappointments of US-Russia relations under the two leaders.

Gone are the days of gazing into each others' souls and dancing the cotton-eyed Joe in Texas hill country. In this post-Iraq-war reality, neither side appears to feel the need to go too far in accommodating the other...

Another article used tepid as "not strong enough". See Watching America (The quote is the headline of an article in the Financial Times (South Korea) on 20 January 2011; G2 refers to the U.S. and China.)

The New G2′s Disappointingly Tepid Pressure on North Korea

There is a very odd use of tepid in Countering Terrorism and Insurgency in the 21st Century


Relations between the United States and the newly unified Yemen were tepid in the early 1990s ... By the mid-1990s, relations had begun to thaw between the two countries.....

The problem here is that tepid means lukewarm, and it is hard to see how something lukewarm can thaw, but that may be a physical scientist's quibble.

Finally, see The History of Anglo-Japanese Relations 1600-2000: Volume IV, which describes a period when the interests of British and European manufacturers in the Japanese market were tepid. From the context (page 83 second paragraph), it is clear that the author meant simply lukewarm -- that they weren't very interested.

For other examples, google relations between the countries were tepid

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