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Much of the research that deals with understanding the real world and representing it in a conceptual model uses some form of the entity-relationship model as a means of representation. This research proposes an ontology for classifying relationship verb phrases based upon the domain and context of the application within which the relationship appears. The classification categories to which the verb phrases are mapped were developed based upon prior research in databases, ontologies, and linguistics. The usefulness of the ontology for comparing relationships when used in conjunction with an entity ontology is discussed. Together, these ontologies can be effective in comparing two conceptual database designs for integration and validation. Empirical testing of the ontology on a number of relationships from different application domains and contexts illustrates the usefulness of the research.