react

verb

re·​act rē-ˈakt How to pronounce react (audio)
reacted; reacting; reacts

intransitive verb

1
: to exert a reciprocal or counteracting force or influence
often used with on or upon
2
: to change in response to a stimulus
3
: to act in opposition to a force or influence
usually used with against
4
: to move or tend in a reverse direction
5
: to undergo chemical reaction

transitive verb

: to cause to react

Example Sentences

When I told her what happened, she reacted with anger. I didn't expect him to react that way. The firefighters reacted quickly when they heard the alarm. He reacted badly to the drug.
Recent Examples on the Web Celebrities — faves and non-faves — make a comment or decision that is controversial, offensive, or seriously out-of-touch, and people react; often swiftly, and often overwhelmingly, to let said person know that whatever comment or action is not OK. Katherine Singh, refinery29.com, 11 Jan. 2023 Watching all these different people react to that exact same prompt was fascinating to me. Harper's BAZAAR, 22 Dec. 2022 Cohen believes that to combat antisemitism, people need to stand up against harmful antisemitic tropes—that no matter the time of year, anyone who hears such stereotypes or conspiracy theories should react strongly. Anisha Kohli, Time, 18 Dec. 2022 According to the release, the system features two monitoring cameras that will track multiple parts of the driver’s face to ensure the car can react in case of a dangerous situation. Joe Wituschek, BGR, 17 Dec. 2022 That is what propelled people to react to it, while the fact that the Amazon was on fire elicited nothing. Bella Lack, WIRED, 16 Dec. 2022 It’s always a good idea to consult with your doctor before taking either of them, as each person may react differently to the compounds found in these plants. Amber Smith, Discover Magazine, 15 Dec. 2022 Maurice’s hands darted up like pistons, and the shot was off before Jaylen could react. Kevin Fagan, San Francisco Chronicle, 11 Dec. 2022 Video from a Ring security camera shows the coyote run up to grab Ariya and start dragging her in the seconds before her father could react. David Williams, CNN, 4 Dec. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'react.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

Etymology

New Latin reactus, past participle of reagere, from Latin re- + agere to act — more at agent

First Known Use

1644, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of react was in 1644

Dictionary Entries Near react

Cite this Entry

“React.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/react. Accessed 26 Jan. 2023.

Kids Definition

react

verb
re·​act rē-ˈakt How to pronounce react (audio)
1
: to act or behave in response (as to stimulation or an influence)
the colonists reacted to the tax by boycotting tea
2
: to oppose a force or influence
usually used with against
reacted against their unfair treatment
3
: to go through or cause to go through a chemical reaction

Medical Definition

react

intransitive verb
re·​act rē-ˈakt How to pronounce react (audio)
1
: to respond to a stimulus
2
: to undergo chemical reaction

transitive verb

: to cause to react

More from Merriam-Webster on react

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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