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

In each experiment, respondents were randomly selected to receive different versions of the stories. Benjamin Toff, Washington Post, "How worried are you about an impending trade war? That might depend on what your fellow party members think," 12 July 2018 In the Quinnipiac poll this month, 60% of the respondents thought that Democrats were more interested in exploiting this issue for political gain than in resolving it. William A. Galston, WSJ, "Americans Want an Immigration Deal," 10 July 2018 For the landline sample, a respondent was randomly selected from all adults in the household. CBS News, "Mixed views of Trump-Kim summit, fewer uneasy about conflict now," 18 June 2018 Of the 36 working youth who reported operating a forklift or other hoisting equipment, none (0 percent) of the respondents recognized these tasks as hazardous or dangerous. Sarah Jones, The New Republic, "Trump’s War on Labor Now Includes Teens," 24 May 2018 Think most gamers are men?—47 percent of the respondents were female. Gordon Mah Ung, PCWorld, "Dell surveyed 5,763 PC gamers, and this is what they said," 27 Apr. 2018 Thirty-eight percent of the respondents had no opinion about Comey. Jennifer Hansler, CNN, "Poll: Americans broadly support Mueller probe, are split on Comey," 13 Apr. 2018 Of the respondents, 75 percent felt a strong enhancement of general life satisfaction after the gender confirmation surgery, and 67 percent were satisfied with their outer appearance as a woman. Alessandra Potenza, The Verge, "Gender confirmation surgery improves transgender people’s lives, research confirms," 22 Mar. 2018 In the European Union survey, two thirds of the respondents thought discrimination and hate crimes against Jews in the European Union countries was a problem. Brian Eads, Newsweek, "Are the French Anti-Semitic?," 6 Feb. 2014

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

8 Oct 2018

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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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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).


a state of commotion or excitement

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