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

Other Words from respond


responder \ ri-​ˈspän-​dər How to pronounce respond (audio) \ noun

Synonyms for respond

Synonyms: Verb

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Members of Orange County Animal Services, Orange County Fire Rescue and Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando respond to a fire at the Pet Alliance building on Wednesday night. NBC News, 16 Sep. 2021 And even in people with compromised immune systems, a fair number respond to a third dose. San Diego Union-Tribune, 15 Sep. 2021 The Suffolk County Police Department did not immediate respond to PEOPLE's request for comment. Abigail Adams,, 21 July 2022 Media officials for 3M, Tyco and BASF didn't immediate respond to messages seeking comment. Todd Richmond, ajc, 20 July 2022 The protein subunit vaccine deploys harmless COVID-19 proteins and an adjuvant (an ingredient to help bolster immune responses) to help the immune system respond to COVID infections. Grady Mcgregor, Fortune, 20 July 2022 CIOs especially have to manage budgets, talent, processes and data, as well as respond to competition. Steve Taplin, Forbes, 6 May 2022 When there’s a nuisance complaint, like loud music, have code enforcement respond to give these people tickets. Robin Goist, cleveland, 7 Aug. 2021 Their chicks have primitive claws on their tiny wings and respond to danger by plunging into water and then clawing their way back to their nests—a trait that inspired some ornithologists to link them to dinosaurs. Ben Crair, The New Yorker, 15 July 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Hammer’s attorney, Anthony Brettler, did not immediately respond Wednesday to The Times’ request for comment. Nardine Saad, Los Angeles Times, 10 Aug. 2022 The Kremlin and Russia’s defense ministry didn’t respond Wednesday to requests for comment. Dion Nissenbaum, WSJ, 10 Aug. 2022 And according to the island's official Central News Agency, Taiwan’s army will respond to the Chinese exercises by conducting live-fire artillery drills in southern Pingtung County on Tuesday and Thursday. Landon Mion, Fox News, 8 Aug. 2022 Boardrooms can respond by leaning into a different kind of executive—one who understands that the job of the CEO embraces an ecosystem of players, inputs, and concerns about the long-term health of the enterprise. Judy Samuelson, Quartz, 6 Aug. 2022 The Rosenberg Police Department did not respond to multiple requests for comment Thursday. Michael Murney, Chron, 4 Aug. 2022 Mike Grehl, vice president of real estate for N4FL, did not respond to an email Thursday requesting comments on the appeal. Phil Diehl, San Diego Union-Tribune, 4 Aug. 2022 Beckerman on Monday ordered attorneys for Sheridan to respond to the emergency motion by the end of this week and discuss whether the court has the authority to take the actions that Hay seeks. oregonlive, 1 Aug. 2022 While Jenner has yet to address her 17-minute flight, Drake did respond to some criticism on Instagram by noting that nobody was even on the seven-minute, 12-minute, and 14-minute flights his Boeing 767 took during a six-week span. Jon Blistein, Rolling Stone, 29 July 2022 See More

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.

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

Learn More About respond

Time Traveler for respond

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near respond




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for respond

Last Updated

13 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Respond.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Aug. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for respond


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


Test Your Vocabulary

Challenging Words You Should Know

  • hedgehog reading a book
  • Often used to describe “the march of time,” what does inexorable mean?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!