A relation refers to the machine-processable description of the relationship between two objects.
In Semantic MediaWiki, it's a property of datatype Page that relates one article to another; datatype Page is the default type of a property. A relation is annotated by adding a property to an existing MediaWiki link, using the syntax [[property name::link target]]. A relation always describes a directed relationship between the article with the annotation, and the article that is the target of a link.
Editing explains properties and annotation in more detail.
This documentation page applies to all SMW versions from 0.1 to the most current version.
Help:Relation en 0.1