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

Other Words from respond


responder \ ri-​ˈspän-​dər How to pronounce respond (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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Attorney disciplinary officials can investigate matters on their own or respond to complaints. The Christian Science Monitor, 4 May 2022 Their poor judgement demonstrated an inability to lead and be proactive under pressure and respond to this behavior. Scott Feinberg, The Hollywood Reporter, 9 Apr. 2022 The floorplan and design respond to a woman’s point of view, and incorporate design elements that are part of the remote work and home school environment. Jennifer Castenson, Forbes, 14 Mar. 2022 How does the international community respond and adapt, especially as oil prices continue to rise? Philip Elliott, Time, 12 Mar. 2022 How will Florida's governor and Legislature respond (if at all) to the latest report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration?, 18 Feb. 2022 How will the Antelopes (14-4, 5-2) respond to this first bit of adversity to hit them in the Western Athletic Conference? Richard Obert, The Arizona Republic, 25 Jan. 2022 Morgan spoke to this, as well, and says sending a text is much less socially demanding than having to pay attention, respond, and be present during an in-person interaction or telephone call. Carol Milberger, Wired, 29 Nov. 2021 How, if at all, should the U.S. respond to Chinese military sorties near Taiwan? Josh Chin, WSJ, 6 Oct. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Savage's representative did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Diana Dasrath, NBC News, 7 May 2022 Milwaukee police did not immediately respond to questions. Drake Bentley, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 7 May 2022 Webster did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment. Arkansas Online, 7 May 2022 Webster did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment. Jake Bleiberg, Chron, 7 May 2022 Savage’s team did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Ryan Gajewski, The Hollywood Reporter, 6 May 2022 His public defender didn’t respond to our inquiry by deadline. The Editorial Board, WSJ, 5 May 2022 When the county last year proposed doubling the visitor limit and opening the gardens to events like weddings, one City Council member suggested that the city might respond by limiting street parking all the way around the estate. Los Angeles Times, 3 May 2022 Many were cultivated by bots — fake accounts programmed to respond to tweets by or about Musk or Tesla with tweets crafted to boost the company’s reputation, driving the momentum investing that’s inflated the tech bubble. Washington Post, 2 May 2022 See More

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.

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

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

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Last Updated

9 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Respond.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for respond


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?


intransitive verb
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

More from Merriam-Webster on respond

Nglish: Translation of respond for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of respond for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about respond


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