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
b : echo, resound
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


plural replies

Definition of reply (Entry 2 of 2)

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

Other Words from reply


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

Synonyms for reply

Synonyms: Verb

Synonyms: Noun

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Choose the Right Synonym for reply


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 Mahan's attorney, Ronnie Murray, did not immediately reply to an interview request. Jim Riccioli, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 13 May 2022 An attorney for Trump did not immediately reply to a request for comment. Graham Kates, CBS News, 12 May 2022 The state treasury did not immediately reply to a request for comment. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, 21 Apr. 2022 Tesla China didn’t immediately reply to a request for comment. Jane Li, Quartz, 19 Apr. 2022 Theis did not respond to her colleague's speech on the Senate floor, and a representative did not immediately reply to a request for comment. Dave Boucher, Detroit Free Press, 19 Apr. 2022 Mayweather and Jacobs did not immediately reply to requests for comment. NBC News, 17 Apr. 2022 Ben Ashkenazy, chief executive and chairman of Ashkenazy Acquisition Corp., didn’t immediately reply to a request for comment in a message left with his assistant. Washington Post, 14 Apr. 2022 Yu didn’t immediately reply to a request for comment. Max Reyes,, 7 Apr. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The tweet was sent out Thursday as a reply to a tweet about the Las Vegas Raiders trading for Green Bay Packers wide receiver Davante Adams. Jeremy Cluff, The Arizona Republic, 18 Mar. 2022 Every applicant, regardless of their experience or salary range, should get a reply to their application. Yec, Forbes, 15 Mar. 2022 Non-party objectors may file a reply to those briefs a week after that. Eric Levenson, CNN, 22 Jan. 2022 After linking an email account, users could read, delete, archive, and reply to messages with voice commands. Jacob Siegal, BGR, 3 Nov. 2021 That reply may be as simple as a bird flying away from you, a dog reaching closer to sniff your hand, or an angry driver yelling back at you. Hod Fleishman, Forbes, 12 Oct. 2021 Elliott initially responded to the findings in July and that reply was included in the report. Jeff Mcdonald, San Diego Union-Tribune, 30 Sep. 2021 Cherry’s reply, dated April 16, 1987, mentioned that the place that used to carry the hats that Bryant loved had gone out of business. Mark Heim |, al, 4 Mar. 2022 In reply to his original tweet, Graham says the only people who can fix the problem are the Russian people. Tamia Boyd, USA TODAY, 4 Mar. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of reply


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


1560, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for reply


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

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Time Traveler for reply

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

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Last Updated

18 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Reply.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for reply


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


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.



Legal Definition of reply

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

More from Merriam-Webster on reply

Nglish: Translation of reply for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of reply for Arabic Speakers


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