Using the molten salt method, pristine and Ba2+ substituted MgFe2O4 are prepared. The relaxor-like behaviour observed in the dielectric dispersion indicates the existence of B-site short-range ordering with the local P4122/P4322 symmetry which is confirmed by the Raman spectroscopy. The paper further analyses the origin of polarization using Maxwell-Wagner fit and Nyquist plot. This work suggests a possible way to increase the relaxor-like ferroelectric ordering, larger span of relaxation temperature (ΔTm) and the effective masking of electronic contribution by the substitution of Ba2+ ion. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.