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 How will the industry and the public respond to a movie that seems not just troubling but dangerous? Los Angeles Times, "Best of the 2019 Toronto Film Festival: There was ‘Parasite’ and there was everything else," 13 Sep. 2019 Why shouldn’t our commander-in-chief respond in kind? Michael Brendan Dougherty, National Review, "It’s Time for Trump to Troll China," 16 Aug. 2019 According to Carrie, the disease causes his immune system to over-respond to everything from food in his GI tract to viruses and bacteria. Claudia Harmata,, "This 6-Year-Old Boy Has a Disease So Rare Doctors Say He Is the First to Have It," 13 Aug. 2019 The Verge Google is changing how the Google Home smart speaker and Nest Hub smart display respond to voice commands about lights. Jon Porter, The Verge, "Google is making Assistant less chatty when turning off the lights," 24 July 2019 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 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Beyond occasional tweetstorms — bursts consisting mostly of retweets quoting his defenders on Fox News — Trump had mostly refrained from responding directly to the substance of the hearings. NBC News, "Trump: Impeachment has been 'very hard on my family'," 15 Nov. 2019 Wrong time, at the wrong place' Officers responded to the shooting call at 3:39 a.m. on Nov. 10 and found Jermeisha Nance dead. Alexa Imani Spencer, USA TODAY, "He gave up gang violence for his daughter. Then she was killed in a shooting," 15 Nov. 2019 Representatives of the county Republican Party did not immediately respond to phone messages and emails about the tweet. Meg Jones, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Florence County in Wisconsin's Northwoods declares itself Second Amendment sanctuary," 14 Nov. 2019 Coaches in all sports, Nick Saban included, note the modern college athlete doesn’t respond to the old-school coaching methods. Michael Casagrande |, al, "Alabama freshman actually likes tough-love, high-volume coaching," 14 Nov. 2019 In its report this week, Boston Common Asset Management analyzed the climate policies of 58 of the world’s largest banks, although only 41 of them responded to the investment firm’s survey. Adrian Croft, Fortune, "Banks Set to Cash in on the Saudi Aramco IPO Want You to Know They’re Still Serious About Climate Change," 14 Nov. 2019 Indiana State Police and agencies from Zionsville, Lebanon and Whitestown responded to the crash, the Sheriff's Office said. Andrew Clark, Indianapolis Star, "Indianapolis woman dies in Boone County crash," 14 Nov. 2019 The priest suggested contacting the police, and the Kent County Sheriff's Department responded. Keith Matheny,, "How the Japanese bombed Michigan during World War II," 14 Nov. 2019 In a blog post responding to controversy, Friedman didn't blame Microsoft for the decision to renew the contract. Wired, "GitHub Finally Has Its Own Mobile Apps," 13 Nov. 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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Time Traveler for respond

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for respond

Cite this Entry

“Respond.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 22 November 2019.

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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).


not agreeing with established beliefs

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