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

react, reply

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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

However, in sudden cases like the two this month, jail medical staff respond first and an ambulance is called. Cameron Knight,, "After baby born in jail toilet, sheriff to target dealers selling to expecting mothers," 28 June 2019 Share Your Thoughts How should the U.S. respond to Iran shooting down one of its drones? Vivian Salama, WSJ, "Trump Says Downing of U.S. Drone May Have Been Unintentional," 20 June 2019 If the offending party has no remorse, fails to apologize or is inaccessible (won’t respond, incapacitated, deceased, etc.), that doesn’t prevent us from letting go of that hot coal of resentment. Philip Chard, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Forgiveness heals bitterness that corrodes the soul," 11 Jan. 2018 Essentially, though, the expansion is a respond to demand both for the southeast part of Huntsville as well as the fast-growing city as a whole. Paul Gattis |,, "Huntsville’s Jones Valley adding more upscale apartments," 26 June 2019 How did Lincoln respond to the bitter social discord of his day? David S. Reynolds, WSJ, "‘Becoming Lincoln’ Review: The Center That Held," 15 Feb. 2019 The four large keypads surrounding the rear display each respond to a long press as well as a regular one, and the control dial under your thumb can also be long-pressed to switch between shooting modes. Vlad Savov, The Verge, "The Leica S3 is a frustratingly awesome medium format DSLR," 27 Sep. 2018 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Modern economics says business cycles are caused by changes in total spending which outpace the ability of prices and wages to respond. The Economist, "For how long can today’s global economic expansion last?," 12 July 2019 And government officials are not the only ones responding to the disaster. Madeline Holcombe And Derek Van Dam, CNN, "Barry a triple threat of storm surge, high rivers and flooding as it gets closer to Louisiana coast," 12 July 2019 The bill is far from the only legislative effort to respond to Saudi Arabia’s recent behavior, particularly the killing of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi in a Saudi consulate last year. Andrew Duehren, WSJ, "Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Calls for Review of U.S.-Saudi Relationship," 11 July 2019 But by continuing to fight for this citizenship question, no matter the rationale, does Trump achieve his intended purpose here — a chilling effect on the communities responding to the census? NBC News, "Is pushing for a citizenship census question almost as valuable for Trump as getting one?," 11 July 2019 Officers responding to a report of a shooting found the teen with a gunshot wound at the location, which is listed as a Taco Bell restaurant. Lauren Hernández,, "Livermore man sought in fatal shooting of 16-year-old boy, police said," 9 July 2019 But with their getaway car gone, the suspects fled into the surrounding area on foot, and officers responding to the scene gave chase, Giaime said. Alex Riggins, San Diego Union-Tribune, "3 masked bandits rob Chula Vista grocery store pharmacy; 2 teen boys arrested," 8 July 2019 Officers responding to a report of gunfire shortly before 2 a.m. were directed to 24-year-old Joe Willie Ross Jr. lying in a roadway without pulse or respiration. Pioneer Press, Twin Cities, "Minneapolis cops responding to shots find Shakopee man fatally injured," 7 July 2019 An officer responding to the scene was involved in a minor vehicle crash at North Point Boulevard and North Point Road. Frederick N. Rasmussen,, "Baltimore County police: Fight leads to fatal shooting in Edgemere," 7 July 2019

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

14 Jul 2019

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 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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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).


to form ideas or theories about something

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