I am writing a perspective for a general medical science audience. The following adapted figure will be included in the publication:enter image description here

The figure title appearing in the legend includes the following sentence,

Figure 1: Schematic illustrating the non- one-to-one relationship between hypotheses, process models, and statistical models.

The only thesaurus with an entry for 'one-to-one' that I have found is WordNet. They provide only "matched" as a 'similar to' entry (not quite a synonym). The word I'm looking for should refer to matching relationships that are not one-to-one. I would also accept any answer that contains any true synonyms that could lead to an antonym. Or, is simply "non-one-to-one" the way to go? It's not the most aesthetically pleasing option.

  • 1
    This can't be answered well without a specific context. For example, in the context of "one to one instruction" (ie when teaching), I would suggest "classroom instruction". Please add your context so your question can be answered.
    – Laurel
    Jan 20, 2022 at 20:32
  • I doubt there's a word that encompasses all the relationships that aren't one-one. "Non-isomorphic" is on the way there, but I think it has some additional connotations that you're not looking for.
    – user888379
    Jan 20, 2022 at 20:36
  • A group meeting is not 1-to-1. Jan 20, 2022 at 20:37
  • I have added additional context for my use case. @Laurel
    – Flaunk
    Jan 20, 2022 at 20:59
  • 1
    one-to-many or many-to-many are the obvious terms. You'll have to work out which applies.
    – Stuart F
    Jan 20, 2022 at 21:11

3 Answers 3


You could use the term non-exclusive to describe one-to-many or many-to-one relationships. An exclusive relationship is between exactly two members, neither one can have relationships between any other items aside from their one exclusive partner. Overall, this will capture that any element can pair with more than one other element. None of the relationships shown in the diagram are exclusive, as every pair of relationship partners has at least one partner pairing with a third element.

Changing the caption to

Schematic illustrating the non-exclusive relationships between hypotheses, process models, and statistical models.

should make it clear that each of the items can associate with more than one of the others.

  • This assumes that exclusive is synonymous with one-to-one, but (considered on its own, apart from a context that might narrow down the range of possible interpretations) it simply means that others are excluded, without implying that only one item is included.
    – jsw29
    Jan 20, 2022 at 21:41
  • @jsw29 An exclusive relationship is one-to-one. You cannot have any kind of relationship that has only one member and no partner. Jan 20, 2022 at 21:56
  • @jsw29 This is true, and a good point. I guess you could call this a context-dependent antonym (or is that basically what an 'indirect antonym' is)? If someone does come up with a solid direct antonym, I will accept that answer instead. For now, I will leave this answer as accepted because I did not specify whether the antonym needed to be direct or indirect, and this answer does satisfy my use case.
    – Flaunk
    Jan 20, 2022 at 21:58
  • @NuclearHoagie, yes, but one-many and many-many relationships can all be exclusive. Consider 'the courses whose numbers begin with 3 or 4 are open exclusively to graduate and upper-level undergraduate students'. There are many such courses and many such students, but the relationship is exclusive, in that it excludes other students.
    – jsw29
    Jan 20, 2022 at 22:05
  • Regardless, there is also a relative sense of the word "exclusive," as when used in the phrase 'mutually exclusive.' Multiple non-one-to-one pairings could be said to be mutually exclusive. There is likely a fair amount of ambiguity in drawing the line between direct and indirect antonyms.
    – Flaunk
    Jan 20, 2022 at 22:19

I'd say multifaceted. There are multiple angles or facets to consider when reviewing the statistical models and processes, and the outcomes are not one-to-one for a given input or set.


This schematic illustrates several one-to-many relationships between hypotheses, process models, and statistical models.

Relationships in databases can be one-to-one, one-to-many or some combinations.

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