call-and-re·​sponse ˌkȯl-ən(d)-ri-ˈspän(t)s How to pronounce call-and-response (audio)
: a statement quickly followed by an answering statement
also : a musical phrase in which the first and often solo part is answered by a second and often ensemble part

Examples of call-and-response in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The tone of the Wednesday evening session was mostly triumphant, packed with call-and-response exchanges and upbeat music. Brittany Shammas, Washington Post, 24 Sep. 2023 These leaders play a central role in the masquerade by invoking call-and-response chants known as spellings. Melissa Noel, Essence, 8 Sep. 2023 This performance might be best served with a generous helping of call-and-response and a dash of theatrics. Ada Tseng, Los Angeles Times, 29 Aug. 2023 The Jonas Brothers' version of the track, produced by longtime collaborator John Fields, features lush strings and stunning call-and-response vocals from Nick, Joe and Kevin Jonas. Ilana Kaplan, Peoplemag, 25 Aug. 2023 And with their roaring guitars, ringing piano, and propulsive drums, the Hold Steady came out of the gate with the day’s most unabashed rock ‘n’ roll, though the call-and-response and audience clapping in rhythm fit solidly within the folk tradition. Marc Hirsh,, 30 July 2023 Start with simple melodic phrases, some call-and-response and the music gains momentum, complexity, and intensity until the notes reach a ringing climax that inevitably brings cheers and air slide guitar from the crowd. cleveland, 20 July 2023 Here, Flores indulged in an unusual call-and-response with the audience, who happily played along. Christian Hertzog, San Diego Union-Tribune, 3 July 2023 Danny Brown, an audience member, invited the crowd to rise to their feet for a call-and-response rally. NBC News, 29 June 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'call-and-response.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1827, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of call-and-response was in 1827

Dictionary Entries Near call-and-response

Cite this Entry

“Call-and-response.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Oct. 2023.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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