reply

verb
re·​ply | \ ri-ˈplī How to pronounce reply (audio) \
replied; replying

Definition of reply

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1a : to respond in words or writing
c : to make a legal replication
2 : to do something in response specifically : to return gunfire or an attack

transitive verb

: to give as an answer

reply

noun
plural replies

Definition of reply (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : something said, written, or done in answer or response

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from reply

Verb

replier \ ri-​ˈplī(-​ə)r How to pronounce reply (audio) \ noun

Synonyms for reply

Synonyms: Verb

Synonyms: Noun

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Choose the Right Synonym for reply

Noun

answer, response, reply, rejoinder, retort mean something spoken, written, or done in return. answer implies the satisfying of a question, demand, call, or need. had answers to all their questions response may imply a quick or spontaneous reaction to a person or thing that serves as a stimulus. a response to the call for recruits reply often suggests a thorough response to all issues, points, or questions raised. a point-by-point reply to the accusation rejoinder can be a response to a reply or to an objection. a salesman with a quick rejoinder to every argument retort implies a reaction to an implicit or explicit charge, criticism, or attack which contains a countercharge or counterattack. she made a cutting retort to her critics

Examples of reply in a Sentence

Verb I called out to them, but no one replied. He didn't reply to her greeting. The company has replied to the recent protests by posting an ad in the local newspaper. She replied to the accusation with a stack of documents proving her innocence. He replied politely that he felt a little better. Noun A timely reply will be appreciated. The invitations have been sent, but we haven't received any replies yet. I asked her what was wrong. In reply, she handed me a letter. He wrote a brief note in reply to her letter.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Representatives of the human rights commission were not available to comment when contacted by Reuters and a government spokesman did not reply to an email requesting comment or answer phone calls. NBC News, "Rohingya widow seeks compensation from Myanmar government for death of her husband," 11 Dec. 2020 This will be the billing model applied to season ticket holders who do not reply to UConn with a specific request by Thursday. courant.com, "Mike Anthony: UConn basketball season ticket holders have gifted nearly $2 million to university; fans shut out, but continue to chip in," 31 Dec. 2020 Ellis, who didn’t immediately reply to a phone message from the Associated Press, called the police, who referred the issue to the county health department, according to East Moline police Chief Jeff Ramsey. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, "Governors vaccinated, Christmas precautions, medical worker shortage: News from around our 50 states," 23 Dec. 2020 The former deputy did not reply to calls seeking comment. Los Angeles Times, "Former O.C. deputy sheriff indicted, charged with breaking into dead man’s home," 22 Dec. 2020 Newsom’s office did not reply to a request for comment. SFChronicle.com, "San Quentin doctors, lawyers question plan to transfer inmates amid outbreaks," 14 Dec. 2020 Chicago State did not reply to requests for more details before Wednesday’s game. Shannon Ryan, chicagotribune.com, "Chicago State down to 1 coach on the bench for an 88-51 loss at Loyola," 9 Dec. 2020 Moderna did not reply to a request for comment about the new analysis. David Z. Morris, Fortune, "Only 10% of people in poor countries will get a coronavirus vaccine next year," 9 Dec. 2020 The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs did not reply to a request for comment. Eoin Mcsweeney, CNN, "Activists are fighting for a renewable future in Sub-Saharan Africa. Chinese coal projects threaten to dirty those plans," 9 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun In a reply to a comment, Chuklansev said this was unfolding in Los Angeles. NBC News, "'Patients are dying like flies': California nurse urging Covid safety goes viral on TikTok," 29 Dec. 2020 Entire careers were made out of coming up with the most viral reply to Trump’s latest tweet. Frank Shyong Columnist, Los Angeles Times, "Column: As Trump leaves office, we talk about ‘bridging divides.’ Is that really possible?," 16 Nov. 2020 Instagram user @sarahji72 posted a photo of the reply—check it out below. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Sarah Ferguson Shares New Photo from Princess Beatrice and Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi's Royal Wedding," 1 Nov. 2020 The judge ordered Pence to respond to the lawsuit before the end of business on New Year’s Eve and demanded Gohmert’s reply by 9 a.m. on New Year’s Day. Mike Brest, Washington Examiner, "Pence didn't back Gohmert-led effort to change election, lawyers say," 30 Dec. 2020 This short reply to the powerful pastor contains so much. Jordan Besek, The Conversation, "W.E.B. Du Bois embraced science to fight racism as editor of NAACP’s magazine The Crisis," 14 Dec. 2020 The four states in their reply briefs, meanwhile, did say that any changes that were made to their elections were consistent with laws approved by their legislatures and criticized Texas for undermining the American election process. Morgan Phillips, Fox News, "Matt Gaetz: SCOTUS decision not to hear Texas election lawsuit is blow to the power of state legislatures," 13 Dec. 2020 These reply guys have attempted to explain physics to astronauts, articles to their authors, and even The Handmaid's Tale to Margaret Atwood. Emily Tannenbaum, Glamour, "The Queen’s Gambit Chess Boys on Their Heartthrob Moment," 10 Dec. 2020 During a debate period when the candidates could address each other, Ms. Loeffler’s Democratic opponent, the Rev. Raphael Warnock, asked for a yes or no reply to the question: Did Mr. Trump lose the election? Lindsay Wise, WSJ, "Georgia Sen. Loeffler, Challenger Warnock Spar in Debate With Senate Control at Stake," 7 Dec. 2020

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

See More

First Known Use of reply

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1a

Noun

1560, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for reply

Verb

Middle English replien to fold back, oppose, respond, from Anglo-French replier, from Latin replicare to fold back, make a legal replication, from re- + plicare to fold — more at ply

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about reply

Time Traveler for reply

Time Traveler

The first known use of reply was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for reply

Last Updated

18 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Reply.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/reply. Accessed 22 Jan. 2021.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for reply

reply

verb
How to pronounce reply (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of reply

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to say, write, or do something as an answer or response

reply

noun

English Language Learners Definition of reply (Entry 2 of 2)

: something said, written, or done as an answer or response

reply

verb
re·​ply | \ ri-ˈplī How to pronounce reply (audio) \
replied; replying

Kids Definition of reply

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to say or do in answer : respond

reply

noun
plural replies

Kids Definition of reply (Entry 2 of 2)

: something said, written, or done in answer I'm waiting for a reply to my request.

reply

noun
re·​ply

Legal Definition of reply

: a plaintiff's or complainant's response to a plea, allegation, or counterclaim in the defendant's answer

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on reply

What made you want to look up reply? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Slippery Words Quiz—Changing with the Times

  • ducreux self portrait yawning
  • What is an earlier meaning of nice?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!