re·​spon·​dent | \ ri-ˈspän-dənt \

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


A majority of respondents said they disagreed with the mayor's plan.

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Penicook said the vast majority of the 800 respondents are in favor of both a dog park and allowing leashed dogs in all village parks. Jesse Wright,, "No quick decision on whether to allow dogs in La Grange parks, board president says," 10 July 2018 An analysis of government survey data in Washington state found that about 5 percent of respondents 65 and older reported both some cognitive decline and having firearms in their home. Jonel Aleccia And Melissa Bailey, USA TODAY, "Unlocked and loaded: Families confront dementia and guns," 1 July 2018 Among respondents 50 and older, the Republican got 41 percent, Democrat 36 percent and 23 percent didn’t know or had no opinion. Anthony Man,, "Florida's 50-plus voters could save Republicans in midterm elections," 19 June 2018 According to this survey's results, communication problems are listed as the biggest on-the-job frustration by 71 percent of the Millennial respondents. Author: Naomi Klouda, Anchorage Daily News, "Decline in Alaska population of millennials could be tough on employers," 7 June 2018 The same recommendation was made for the stretch of the street from Tyler Lane to Brighton Drive with 87 percent of respondents favoring that change. Phillip M. Bailey, The Courier-Journal, "Louisville looks at killing rush hour lanes on Bardstown Road," 7 June 2018 However, Reuters considers the number of African-American respondents to those weekly polls too small to reliably indicate a shift in opinion. Paula Rogo,, "Trump Says Kim Kardashian And Kanye West Have Given Him A Boost With The Black Vote," 5 June 2018 Transgender people face hate and erasure in almost every part of our lives: 20% of respondents to a 2015 National Transgender Discrimination Survey survey say they had been refused medical care because of bias. Josephine Yurcaba, Teen Vogue, "22 Transgender People Have Been Killed in 2018," 20 Nov. 2018 Three online polls made after Macron’s speech by Odoxa, Opinionway and Elabe institutes show that a majority of respondents still shows sympathy for the Yellow Vest movement, but the support appears to be receding compared to previous weeks. Sylvie Corbet, The Seattle Times, "France’s Macron caught between protests, Strasbourg attack," 12 Dec. 2018

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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Statistics for respondent

Last Updated

15 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for respondent

The first known use of respondent was in 1528

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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 \

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 \

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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More from Merriam-Webster on respondent

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with respondent

Nglish: Translation of respondent for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of respondent for Arabic Speakers

Comments on respondent

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


someone who never drinks alcohol

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