re·sponse | \ ri-ˈspän(t)s \

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 & Antonyms for response


answer, comeback, rejoinder, reply, retort, return


inquiry, query, question

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Choose the Right Synonym for response

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

In response to possible ways of protecting students during an incident of gun violence, one Ohio Valley school district has announced plans to equip their school buildings with a high-tech pepper spray system. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "Ohio School District to Install Pepper Spray “Threat Extinguisher” System," 13 July 2018 The Enquirer obtained a draft of the plan Friday afternoon in response to a public records request. Sharon Coolidge,, "Cincinnati unveils long-awaited OTR residential parking plan. Only thing missing? The cost.," 13 July 2018 Beauty Pageant Winner Gives Up Crown to Protest Skit Mocking #MeToo This year’s Miss Plymouth County winner, Maude Gorman, elected to give up her title in response to an offensive #MeToo sketch performed by a fellow contestant. Emily Cassidy /, NBC News, "In the Know: Women in the news 7/9-7/13," 13 July 2018 In response to such ads, the General Assembly in April passed a bill requiring social media platforms and websites with significant traffic to track all political ads and record which users are being targeted. Jean Marbella,, "Russian hacking indictment includes Twitter account @BaltimoreIsWhr," 13 July 2018 July 12, 2018 After a couple hours, the team posted a second tweet in response to the negativity. Jordan Mcpherson, miamiherald, "A Rays minor-league team is hosting a ‘Millennial Night.’ Twitter was not happy," 13 July 2018 Artists from around the world came to West Philadelphia to create art in response to the community’s needs. Julia Terruso,, "Ellen Tiberino, of art-family royalty, fighting to keep a legacy alive in gentrifying Powelton Village," 12 July 2018 Koster said the district’s plan is to add four temporary portable classrooms to the campus in response to the campus’ growing student population until a permanent building can be constructed. Elizabeth Marie Himchak, Pomerado News, "Two 4S Ranch campuses to get new classrooms," 12 July 2018 On Tuesday, a UK privacy regulator hit Facebook with its maximum possible fine in response to related privacy violations. Russell Brandom, The Verge, "Facebook opens up ‘overwhelming data set’ for election research," 11 July 2018

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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Phrases Related to response

give/make no response

Statistics for response

Last Updated

12 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for response

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

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More Definitions for response



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 \

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 \

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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Comments on response

What made you want to look up response? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


occurring twice a year or every two years

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