re·spond | \ri-ˈspänd \

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 \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for respond

Synonyms: Verb

answer, come back, rejoin, reply, retort, return, riposte

Antonyms: Verb

ask, inquire, question

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Examples of respond in a Sentence


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

How did Strzok respond: Strzok claimed that, to his knowledge, he was removed from the probe for reasons related to public perception — presumably to maintain trust in the integrity of Mueller’s team — rather than any concern about bias on his part. Alana Abramson, Time, "3 Moments That Actually Mattered at the Peter Strzok Hearing," 13 July 2018 See how Pruitt's responds to tough questions during this latest round before lawmakers by watching the hearing live in the player above. USA TODAY, "Live stream: EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt grilled on Capitol Hill," 16 May 2018 Dennis Witt, Lower Merion’s supervisor of safety, security and custodians, said the equipment could help school staff respond to a range of emergencies. Kathy Boccella,, "Nothing has stopped the wave of school shootings. Now districts are buying war-zone trauma kits," 11 June 2018 More: Cincinnati police respond to fatal shooting in Over-the-Rhine Enquirer partner Fox19 contributed to this report. Sarah Brookbank,, "Police ID man killed in Avondale shooting Monday morning," 4 June 2018 The Jefferson County Sheriff’s office also requested the Washington State Patrol crime lab respond to the scene early Sunday morning, said Trooper Chelsea Hodgson. Evan Bush, The Seattle Times, "5 found dead after cabin explodes, burns near Brinnon on Olympic Peninsula," 11 June 2018 Not only would the Justice Department likely respond by appointing a replacement, Congress would likely be moved to take steps of its own to reign in executive power. Chris Stirewalt, Fox News, "What firing Mueller would mean for the GOP," 10 Apr. 2018 People with a wheat allergy respond to wheat proteins by churning out a class of antibodies called immunoglobulin E that can set off vomiting, itching, and shortness of breath. Kelly Servick, Science | AAAS, "What’s really behind ‘gluten sensitivity’?," 23 May 2018 Video shows Ramirez and her fiancé respond by angrily signing at Manley. Deanna Allbrittin And Jason Kelly, ajc, "Deaf, pregnant woman with service animal says she was punched on flight," 20 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Sanford police responded to the 700 block of West 1st Street shortly before 6 p.m., spokesman Ronny Neal said. Michael Williams,, "Man injured in Sanford shooting, police say," 15 July 2018 Pat Gengler said sheriff's deputies responded at 11:20 p.m. on a report of a call to assist the Maple Park Fire Department with a victim trapped in a vehicle on the track. Linda Girardi, Aurora Beacon-News, "Morton Grove race car driver killed in Sycamore Speedway crash," 14 July 2018 More police responded and found the man nearby, police said. Hannah Leone,, "Man in custody after exchanging gunfire with police in South Chicago," 14 July 2018 Crews later responded to reports of a trash can fire around 4:11 a.m. on Voltaire Street near Abbott Street, and reports of a fence fire shortly after 5:30 a.m. on West Point Loma Boulevard near Abbott, Stirk said. City News Service,, "Firefighters respond to multiple fires in Ocean Beach," 13 July 2018 Officers responded to the 700 block of St. Matthews Circle in reference to a dog bite just before midnight, police said. Jennifer Baker,, "Police shoot, kill pit bull after 2 attacked in NKY," 13 July 2018 About 32 firefighters responded and extinguished the fire within minutes, Billiter said. Kellen Browning, sacbee, "Attic fire displaces apartment residents in south Sacramento," 7 July 2018 Firefighters responded to Humboldt Avenue around 6:18 a.m., the Fire Department wrote on Twitter. Felicia Gans,, "SUV ends up on top of car in Roxbury crash," 14 July 2018 Reps for Bush did not immediately respond to Fox News' request for comment. Mariah Haas, Fox News, "Billy Bush's wife, Sydney Davis, files for divorce after nearly 20 years of marriage: report," 13 July 2018

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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Statistics for respond

Last Updated

25 Aug 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for respond

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

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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 \
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 \

Medical Definition of respond 

1 : to react in response

2 : to show favorable reaction respond to chemotherapy

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Comments on respond

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


not any or not one

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