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 respond (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 The bureau released its findings and recommendations without first allowing the Elections Commission to review its analysis and respond, which has been the bureau's practice for years. Patrick Marley, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 22 Oct. 2021 All four applicants were given a chance to make their pitch last week and respond to questions. Mike Nolan,, 20 Oct. 2021 For security, detailed officers can be assigned to patrol the school perimeter and respond to incidents as needed. Washington Post, 16 Oct. 2021 As Alabama schools continue to adjust instruction and respond to the pandemic, four Tuscaloosa County teachers say their district left them overworked and underpaid last year. al, 13 Oct. 2021 Unfortunately, to use the vernacular of Stephen Haeckel, many innovators adopt a make and sell approach rather than sense and respond. Adi Gaskell, Forbes, 4 Oct. 2021 Additionally, the city employs six people who collect discarded needles throughout the day, as well as respond to complaints on the city’s 311 line., 16 Sep. 2021 What the Journal achieved on 9/11 was an All-American triumph—and a template for how to sustain a collective body blow, set aside trauma and respond. Dean Rotbart, WSJ, 10 Sep. 2021 Alaska Airlines did not provide additional information or respond to questions about the incident Wednesday. Tess Williams, Anchorage Daily News, 9 Sep. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Sinema's office did not respond to a request for comment., 22 Oct. 2021 The office of Councilmember Carroll Fife, whose district includes the project and who introduced the motion to ask for more environmental review in the September meeting, also did not immediately respond. Sarah Ravani, San Francisco Chronicle, 22 Oct. 2021 Representative Neal’s office did not respond to a request for comment by publication time. Guinevere Moore, Forbes, 21 Oct. 2021 The sheriff’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Washington Post, 21 Oct. 2021 Eshoo’s office did not respond to requests for comment. Evan Halper, Los Angeles Times, 21 Oct. 2021 Bolsonaro's office did not immediately respond to CNN's request for comment. Stefano Pozzebon And Isa Soares, CNN, 20 Oct. 2021 The Spotsylvania County Sheriff's Office did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Kiara Alfonseca, ABC News, 20 Oct. 2021 Abbott’s office did not respond to a message seeking comment. Acacia Coronado And Paul J. Weber, Anchorage Daily News, 19 Oct. 2021

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

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

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Last Updated

24 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Respond.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Oct. 2021.

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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 : reply
: 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?


intransitive verb
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

More from Merriam-Webster on respond

Nglish: Translation of respond for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of respond for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about respond


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