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 Bulls maintained a 14-point advantage late in the third only to watch the Suns (21-11) respond by outscoring them 43-20 for the game's final 14 minutes, 55 seconds, snapping a three-game winning streak for the Bulls. Duane Rankin, The Arizona Republic, "Phoenix Suns surge late in pushing past Chicago Bulls," 26 Feb. 2021 Playlists like these respond to the contemporary listener’s demand for around-the-clock music and mood-curation. Michelle Santiago Cortés,, "Songs To Kill Royals To: In Praise Of The Oddly Specific Playlist," 5 Apr. 2021 How will the Fed respond to the tantrum in bond markets? John Detrixhe, Quartz, "The Fed is on a collision course with the $20 trillion Treasury market," 26 Feb. 2021 In Chula Vista, drones are already an integral part of the way the police respond to emergencies. New York Times, "Police Drones Are Starting to Think for Themselves," 23 Nov. 2020 Be mindful of caring for ourselves to help cope with stress, be flexible and better respond to adversity. Laura Groch, San Diego Union-Tribune, "North County School News, March 18," 18 Mar. 2021 Their job is to help Border Patrol respond to the surge of migrants illegally crossing into the United States. CBS News, "Desperation on border as thousands of unaccompanied minors cross into the U.S.: "It's heartbreaking"," 16 Mar. 2021 The study itself wasn’t designed to test CoronaVac specifically, but to test how antibodies created either by vaccination or by previous infections from other versions of Covid-19 respond when faced with the new P.1 strain. Luciana Magalhaes, WSJ, "Study of Aggressive Covid-19 Strain in Brazil Suggests Limits of China Vaccine," 6 Mar. 2021 The Twitter study broke new ground by being one of the first to measure how users of the social media platform respond to tweeted scientific papers by using a metric other than clicks on the like or retweet buttons. Jeffrey Brainard, Science | AAAS, "You’ve tweeted about your hot new paper! Don’t expect many clicks," 12 Feb. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Several sheriff's deputies respond in seconds and Meza is strapped onto the gurney. Fox News, "Los Angeles County inmate caught on video brutally assaulting female sheriff’s employee," 8 May 2021 And those who did respond produced fewer antibodies than people with strong immune systems., "Even after a second dose, COVID-19 vaccines may not provide protection for transplant recipients," 8 May 2021 When Congress spends trillions and the economy does not respond, the same advocates assert that the stimulus spending must have been too small, and Congress should double down on spending and debt. Andrew Stuttaford, National Review, "From a Shot in the Arm to a Shot in the Foot — Biden’s Vaccine Blunder," 8 May 2021 There’s certainly evidence that workers respond to higher wages. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, "Column: Employers, governors push myth that unemployment checks keep lazy workers home," 7 May 2021 Experts point to research showing that infants as young as 3 months old can start to recognize — and respond to — differences in skin color and facial features. NBC news, "A guide to combating anti-Asian racism — from relationships to the workplace," 7 May 2021 Regulators propose $30M penalty for Eversource over Isaias response: Connecticut regulators are proposing a $30 million penalty against Eversource Energy for its failure to prepare properly for and respond to Tropical Storm Isaias last August. Russell Blair,, "Connecticut Politics Week in Review: 70% of adults in state have at least one COVID-19 shot, but vaccination rate is slowing," 7 May 2021 The Fuel made a composition mistake on Blizzard World and didn’t respond fast enough before the Hunters captured a map win. Sean Collins, Dallas News, "Dallas Fuel defeat Chengdu Hunters 3-1, advance to May Melee semifinal duel against Shanghai Dragons," 7 May 2021 Often the deadline for a tax professional to respond to a client’s notice has passed before the IRS manages to process the authorizations necessary for the tax professional to work the case. Amber Gray-fenner, Forbes, "Treasury Secretary’s Comments Highlight The Disconnect Between Officials And Taxpayers," 7 May 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

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for respond

Last Updated

27 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Respond.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 May. 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
: 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?
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

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