re·​sponse | \ ri-ˈspän(t)s How to pronounce response (audio) \

Definition of response

1 : an act of responding
2 : something constituting a reply or a reaction: such as
a : a verse, phrase, or word sung or said by the people or choir after or in reply to the officiant in a liturgical service
b : the activity or inhibition of previous activity of an organism or any of its parts resulting from stimulation
c : the output of a transducer or detecting device resulting from a given input

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Synonyms for response


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answer, response, reply, rejoinder, retort mean something spoken, written, or done in return. answer implies the satisfying of a question, demand, call, or need. had answers to all their questions response may imply a quick or spontaneous reaction to a person or thing that serves as a stimulus. a response to the call for recruits reply often suggests a thorough response to all issues, points, or questions raised. a point-by-point reply to the accusation rejoinder can be a response to a reply or to an objection. a salesman with a quick rejoinder to every argument retort implies a reaction to an implicit or explicit charge, criticism, or attack which contains a countercharge or counterattack. she made a cutting retort to her critics

Examples of response in a Sentence

He got a response to his letter. I am writing in response to your letter of July 17. When I told him my plan, I wasn't expecting such an enthusiastic response. Her response to their decision was to threaten to quit her job. When you knocked on the door, was there any response?
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Recent Examples on the Web Officials said President Trump was briefed on the topic in late March and given a range of response options. Haley Victory Smith, Washington Examiner, "US spy agencies believe Russian operatives secretly offered Afghan militants bounties to kill American troops," 26 June 2020 But spokesman Dan Tierney defended DeWine's response to the pandemic. Scott Wartman, The Enquirer, "Warren County GOP rebukes Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine, says he 'overstepped his bounds' in pandemic response," 26 June 2020 People under 40 are most likely to have no symptoms when infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, said Dr. Deborah Birx, who has been leading the White House's response to the pandemic. Karen Weintraub, USA TODAY, "Fauci, White House Task Force urge adults under 40 to act more responsibly to help slow spread of COVID-19," 26 June 2020 The two discussed the recent protests over the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police, and the nation’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Heather Gardner,, "This week's best in late-night: Jon Stewart visits Stephen Colbert, Lin-Manuel Miranda freestyles, and the Muppets sing," 26 June 2020 Fauci is scheduled to testify in front of lawmakers Tuesday along with other leading health officials on the country’s response to the outbreak. John Lauerman,, "Anthony Fauci Doesn’t See Covid Summer Lull as Sun Belt Cases Swell," 26 June 2020 Anchorage Mayor Ethan Berkowitz presents a community briefing at noon Friday to address concerns and questions about the city’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Anchorage Daily News, "Watch live: Mayor Berkowitz presents community briefing on Anchorage coronavirus response," 26 June 2020 During an hour-long discussion during the four-hour June 15 hearing, Zone and other committee members sought to ask questions about preparation and response to the Black Lives Matter protest that later devolved into riots. Robert Higgs, cleveland, "Councilman Matt Zone silent that son was on duty May 30 as committee quizzed Cleveland chief about rioting," 26 June 2020 Also, there is an omnibus coronavirus response bill that would extend the eviction moratorium the governor ordered earlier this year. oregonlive, "Oregon lawmakers enter third and likely final day of special session," 26 June 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'response.' 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 response

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for response

Middle English & Latin; Middle English respounce, from Anglo-French respuns, respounce, from Latin responsum reply, from neuter of responsus, past participle of respondēre

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Time Traveler for response

Time Traveler

The first known use of response was in the 14th century

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Statistics for response

Last Updated

29 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Response.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for response


How to pronounce response (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of response

: something that is said or written as a reply to something
: something that is done as a reaction to something else


re·​sponse | \ ri-ˈspäns How to pronounce response (audio) \

Kids Definition of response

1 : an act or instance of replying : answer There was no response to my question.
2 : words said or sung by the people or choir in a religious service
3 : a reaction of a living being (as to a drug)


re·​sponse | \ ri-ˈspän(t)s How to pronounce response (audio) \

Medical Definition of response

: the activity or inhibition of previous activity of an organism or any of its parts resulting from stimulation a conditioned response

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