re·​spond | \ ri-ˈspänd How to pronounce respond (audio) \

Definition of respond

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: an engaged pillar supporting an arch or closing a colonnade or arcade


responded; responding; responds

Definition of respond (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to say something in return : make an answer respond to criticism
2a : to react in response responded to a call for help
b : to show favorable reaction respond to surgery
3 : to be answerable respond in damages

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Other Words from respond


responder \ ri-​ˈspän-​dər How to pronounce responder (audio) \ noun

Synonyms for respond

Synonyms: Verb

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Examples of respond in a Sentence

Verb She hasn't yet responded to my letter. My mother responded to my request with a firm no. The teacher asked a question, but the student didn't respond. “Are you ready?” he asked. “No,” she responded. When I asked him what he was doing, he responded that it was none of my business. Police quickly responded to the call for help. She responded to their decision by threatening to quit.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Choose one photograph and, without reading the caption, respond: What is going on in this picture? Nicole Daniels, New York Times, "Here’s What the First Night of the Subway Shutdown Looked Like," 13 May 2020 But now she's gotten to know their families better, too, as well as respond to some of their needs. Erin Richards, USA TODAY, "Teacher Appreciation Week: They wanted respect. It only took a coronavirus pandemic and worldwide economic collapse.," 4 May 2020 Trump OKs Kentucky disaster declaration President Donald Trump on Saturday approved Beshear's request for a disaster declaration, ordering federal assistance to help the state respond to the coronavirus pandemic. Darcy Costello, The Courier-Journal, "'The surge is here': Beshear announces leap in Kentucky's coronavirus cases," 28 Mar. 2020 Neither the Russian foreign ministry nor Rosneft responded respond Thursday to requests for comment. Karen Deyoung, Washington Post, "In the U.S. embargo on Venezuelan oil, Russia is a clear winner," 6 Feb. 2020 None of the employees who tested positive for COVID-19 or who are in quarantine respond to calls for fires or emergency medical services, Osborne said. John Delapp, Houston Chronicle, "League City: 10 municipal employees test positive for virus," 31 Mar. 2020 While there have been no confirmed cases in Ohio to date, this funding will help the state respond to any potential outbreaks, says U.S. Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio. Cliff Pinckard, cleveland, "Cleveland police issue no discipline to supervisor who detained Tamir Rice’s sister as he lay dying: The Wake Up for Thursday, March 5, 2020," 5 Mar. 2020 In a March 30 executive order, Gov. Gavin Newsom directed the state Department of Consumer Affairs, which controls professional licensing, the power to change or temporarily waive regulations to let the health care workforce respond to the crisis. Rachel Bluth — California Healthline, STAT, "California resists push to lift limits on nurse practitioners during Covid-19 pandemic," 17 Apr. 2020 Other Ohio cities reacted Cleveland was slow to the respond to the Spanish flu and suffered the worst death rate in Ohio. Cameron Knight,, "What were Cincinnati's tactics during the 1918 Spanish flu and did they work?," 24 Mar. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Centerbridge declined to comment, and Stifel representatives did not respond to requests for comment. J.d. Morris,, "PG&E victims’ lawyer scrutinized over Wall Street connections," 2 May 2020 Fox News, as well as Diamond and Silk, did not respond to requests for comment. NBC News, "Coronavirus misinformation crosses divides to infect black social media," 2 May 2020 Senate personnel records are managed by the secretary of the Senate, who did not respond to requests for comment. Caitlin Conant, CBS News, "2020 Daily Trail Markers: Biden says of Reade sexual assault accusation "it never, never happened"," 1 May 2020 While HCA Houston Healthcare Tomball didn’t respond to a request for comment, Bumpus said HCA has been one of the more responsive organizations as far as taking care of their staff. Paul Wedding, Houston Chronicle, "Houston nurses working through cornavirus pandemic," 1 May 2020 Offenders who do not respond to a tele-hearing notice will receive a final notice with a new hearing date. Laura Bednar, cleveland, "Independence Court system and their municipal counterpart go digital during COVID-19," 1 May 2020 Kim could not be reached, and his lawyer did not respond to inquiries from The Times. Emily Alpert Reyes, Los Angeles Times, "L.A.'s politicians took his campaign donations. Then he admitted arranging a bribe," 30 Apr. 2020 One thing that isn’t working is the Nürburgring’s PR department, which hasn’t responded to several attempts to get official comment on the partial reopening. Mike Duff, Car and Driver, "How Automakers Continue Nürburgring Testing through COVID-19 Lockdown," 30 Apr. 2020 Representatives for Axa and Barclays declined to comment, while a representative for Oman Insurance didn’t respond to a request for comment. Nicolas Parasie,, "Oman Insurance Weighs Bid for Axa’s Middle East Unit," 29 Apr. 2020

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

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First Known Use of respond


15th century, in the meaning defined above


1572, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

History and Etymology for respond


Middle English respounde, literally, reply, from Anglo-French respuns, respunt response


alteration of Middle English respounden, from Anglo-French respundre, from Latin respondēre to promise in return, answer, from re- + spondēre to promise — more at spouse

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Time Traveler for respond

Time Traveler

The first known use of respond was in the 15th century

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Statistics for respond

Last Updated

18 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Respond.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for respond



English Language Learners Definition of respond

: to say or write something as an answer to a question or request
: to do something as a reaction to something that has happened or been done : to have a particular reaction to something
: to have a good or desired reaction to something


re·​spond | \ ri-ˈspänd How to pronounce respond (audio) \
responded; responding

Kids Definition of respond

1 : to say something in return I called to her, but she didn't respond.
2 : to react in a way that shows some action was successful Did the patient respond to surgery?
re·​spond | \ ri-ˈspänd How to pronounce respond (audio) \

Medical Definition of respond

1 : to react in response
2 : to show favorable reaction respond to chemotherapy

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