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
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

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 replier (audio) \ noun

Synonyms for reply

Synonyms: Verb

react, respond

Synonyms: Noun

answer, reaction, response, take

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

The caveat: Most respondents to the survey, which was taken July 14 through Aug. 1, replied before the trade fight with China escalated. Larry Edelman, BostonGlobe.com, "Are we on the verge of a recession? It’s unlikely — at least this year," 18 Aug. 2019 Along with duet videos, which let users add their own videos next to an existing clip, TikTok’s strategy of encouraging users to repurpose old videos to create new ones encouraged users to remix and reply to others, helping trends grow and evolve. Dami Lee, The Verge, "TikTok turns one: its first 12 months, as told through TikToks," 2 Aug. 2019 Markle asked whether that advice would have been different if Obama had had sons instead of daughters, and Obama replied with a poignant response, invoking her own parents. Julyssa Lopez, Glamour, "Meghan Markle’s Interview With Michelle Obama for British Vogue Is So Powerful," 29 July 2019 King replied no, but admitted to shooting Edenhoffer. Bree Burkitt, azcentral, "DPS report reveals new details in final moments of slain Trooper Tyler Edenhofer," 17 July 2019 If Cornyn, Cruz and Marchant are going to reply and blame Democrats, forget it. Dallas News, "Letters - Misled or forewarned? Readers give their take on the Mueller hearing," 4 Aug. 2019 Calls for the White House to release intelligence reports have gone unheeded, along with a deadline to reply to Congress as required under the U.S. Global Magnitsky Act. 2. Wired Staff, WIRED, "One Free Press Coalition Spotlights Journalists Under Attack," 1 Aug. 2019 Calls for the White House to release intelligence reports have gone unheeded, along with a deadline to reply to Congress as required under the U.S. Global Magnitsky Act. 2. Lydia Belanger, Fortune, "The 10 Most Urgent Press Freedom Cases Around the World," 1 Aug. 2019 Calls for the White House to release intelligence reports have gone unheeded, along with a deadline to reply to Congress as required under the U.S. Global Magnitsky Act. 2. Time Staff, Time, "Here Are the 10 ‘Most Urgent’ Violations of Press Freedom Around the World," 1 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

An email to Warren’s Senate office seeking comment received no immediate reply. Robert Gearty, Fox News, "Eight Covington Catholic teens file defamation lawsuit against Sen. Warren, others," 3 Aug. 2019 More Stories The Atlantic reached out for comment to FaceApp, but did not receive a reply by the time of publication. Sidney Fussell, The Atlantic, "FaceApp Is Everyone’s Problem," 19 July 2019 Allen will hope his own math can finally start to add up in reply. Zach Osterman, Indianapolis Star, "Talent infusion, improved depth has Tom Allen betting on his IU football team like he never has before," 18 July 2019 Before traveling to the home, Dehoyos repeatedly sent text messages to the 20-year-old man and confronted him in person after not receiving a reply, Monahan said. Rick Kambic, chicagotribune.com, "Mundelein man charged with attempted murder after firing gun during confrontation, police say," 16 July 2019 The Star reached out to three media representatives at the company but received no replies. Mark Davis, kansascity, "Overland Park man was looking for an ‘easy job.’ He found a scam with ties to Russia," 30 May 2018 The conversation initiated by Sunset Heights neighborhood residents produced 19 replies, including equally curious neighbors within Oakdale, River Place, Woodfield, Broadway Heights, Caples Park, Minooka Park and Deer Path. Jim Riccioli, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "A 'huge' water main break in Waukesha severely reduced water pressure for residents on a hot and humid night," 18 July 2019 Wendy Sinnette said Wednesday the district immediately began interviewing candidates to find a suitable replacement for Hurley and were impressed by Pak’s long administrative experience and thoughtful replies to the interview questions. Sara Cardine, La Cañada Valley Sun, "Saugus Union administrator Cory Pak replaces Karen Hurley at Palm Crest Elementary," 17 July 2019 Like many actual ransom notes, Wosar’s included a unique ID sequence, and instructed the victim to use it in any reply, the copy shows. Renee Dudley, ProPublica, "Sting Catches Another Ransomware Firm — Red Mosquito — Negotiating With “Hackers”," 24 June 2019

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

Statistics for reply

Last Updated

22 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for reply

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for reply

reply

verb

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

More from Merriam-Webster on reply

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with reply

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for reply

Spanish Central: Translation of reply

Nglish: Translation of reply for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of reply for Arabic Speakers

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

a usually brief trip or an expedition

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Summer 2019 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a-bowl-of-peach-sorbet-with-cut-peaches-next-to-it
  • Which is a synonym of desideratum?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

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!