re·​spon·​dent | \ ri-ˈspän-dənt How to pronounce respondent (audio) \

Definition of respondent

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : one who responds: such as
a : one who maintains a thesis in reply
b(1) : one who answers in various legal proceedings (as in equity cases)
(2) : the prevailing party in the lower court
c : a person who responds to a poll
2 : a reflex that occurs in response to a specific external stimulus — compare operant



Definition of respondent (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : making response : responsive especially : being a respondent at law
2 : relating to or being behavior or responses to a stimulus that are followed by a reward respondent conditioning — compare operant sense 3

Examples of respondent in a Sentence

Noun A majority of respondents said they disagreed with the mayor's plan.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun However, a new survey by ARD Deutschlandtrend found 56% of respondents were critical of the league's resumption and just 31% favored the restart. Ben Church, CNN, "German soccer returns but not as we know it," 15 May 2020 The president may also be looking to improve his job-approval numbers in Pennsylvania, where 45 percent of respondents support his handling of the coronavirus, according to a Washington Post-Ipsos poll. Fox News, "President Trump to visit Pennsylvania amid battle over state’s coronavirus shutdown policies," 14 May 2020 And a poll released by the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform found that 84% of respondents agree with preventing lawsuits against businesses that have stayed open, such as grocery stores and pharmacies. Los Angeles Times, "McConnell’s coronavirus business liability pledge sparks lobbying frenzy," 6 May 2020 Based on CBS News reporting, the names respondents were asked about in the survey have been discussed within the Biden campaign as likely to be vetted or have been recommended to the campaign by other prominent Democrats. Anthony Salvanto, Jennifer De Pinto, CBS News, "CBS News poll: Elizabeth Warren tops Democrats' wish list for Biden's vice president," 4 May 2020 The margin of error, according to DHM, is ±3.3% for the full sample and ±4.4% for the split samples where respondents were asked questions that were randomly assigned to half the group. oregonlive, "Oregonians of all parties support coronavirus stay-at-home orders, new survey finds," 22 Apr. 2020 In addition, when the respondents were asked about their day care and preschool costs, they were not asked to distinguish whether their costs derived from day care, preschool or both. Christina Caron, New York Times, "The Costly Burden of Day Care and Preschool," 17 Apr. 2020 Previous SlideNext Slide That same pattern repeated itself when respondents were asked whether the government was doing too little to address climate change. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "80% of US accepts that there’s a human role in climate change," 25 Nov. 2019 Accoding to Rick Perlstein's Nixonland, a Gallup poll found that 58 percent of respondents blamed the students for the incident; just 11 percent blamed the guardsmen. Vince Guerrieri, Smithsonian Magazine, "How 13 Seconds Changed Kent State University Forever," 1 May 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Absent a robust and respondent welfare state, protests have become a routine — and occasionally effective — means of social negotiation between citizens, workers and public officials. Chantal Berman, Washington Post, "Why do Tunisians keep protesting?," 19 Jan. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'respondent.' 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 respondent


1528, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1726, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for respondent


Latin respondent-, respondens, present participle of respondēre

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Time Traveler for respondent

Time Traveler

The first known use of respondent was in 1528

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Statistics for respondent

Last Updated

20 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Respondent.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 May. 2020.

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How to pronounce respondent (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of respondent

: a person who gives a response or answer to a question that is asked especially as part of a survey


re·​spon·​dent | \ ri-ˈspän-dənt How to pronounce respondent (audio) \

Medical Definition of respondent

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a reflex that occurs in response to a specific external stimulus the knee jerk is a typical respondent



Medical Definition of respondent (Entry 2 of 2)

: relating to or being behavior or responses to a stimulus that are followed by a reward respondent conditioning — compare operant


re·​spon·​dent | \ ri-ˈspän-dənt How to pronounce respondent (audio) \

Legal Definition of respondent

: one who answers or defends in various proceedings: as
a : an answering party in an equitable proceeding
b : a party against whom a petition (as for a writ of habeas corpus) seeking relief is brought
c : an answering party in a proceeding in juvenile court or family court specifically : a party against whom a divorce proceeding is brought
d : a party prevailing at trial who defends the outcome on appeal : appellee

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