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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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 Interchange #3: Post-Sale Operations Easily the newest to automotive is the ongoing detection and response aspects. Steve Tengler, Forbes, "Connected Car Safety And Security: The Future, Complex Interchange Between Them," 11 May 2021 Deborah Birx, the Trump administration’s decidedly more compromised—but still undeniably influential—White House coronavirus-response coordinator, doesn’t rate a mention at all. Chris Lehmann, The New Republic, "The Pandemic Planners Were Ready. No One Listened.," 11 May 2021 Environmental response contractors hired by Arbre Farms have completed cleanup activities at the county drain, but are still working to clean wastewater and sludge from a wooded area near the point of release, Assendelft said. Keith Matheny, Detroit Free Press, "Details emerge of major waste spill into creek, river from Oceana County food processor," 11 May 2021 Three Israelis were killed, including one in the central Israeli coastal city Rishon LeZion and two earlier in the day when a house in Ashkelon was hit, said Israeli emergency response officials. Felicia Schwartz, WSJ, "Israel, Hamas Prepare for Wider Conflict as Fighting Intensifies," 11 May 2021 In Ashkelon, an Israeli city less than 10 miles from Gaza, two people were killed in rocket attacks Tuesday, Israel's Zaka emergency response team said. NBC News, "Israeli clashes with Palestinians turn deadly as Jerusalem tensions spread," 11 May 2021 White House Covid-19 response coordinator Jeff Zients detailed the new steps in a call with governors on Tuesday, and Biden will highlight the program during a virtual meeting with a bipartisan group of governors on Tuesday afternoon. Betsy Klein And Jeremy Diamond, CNN, "Uber and Lyft to provide free rides to vaccination sites as part of new White House partnership," 11 May 2021 The White House has been hiring for key cybersecurity policy and response roles and participated in a public-private ransomware task force aimed at generating comprehensive recommendations to curb the problem. Lily Hay Newman, Wired, "DarkSide Ransomware Hit Colonial Pipeline—and Created an Unholy Mess," 10 May 2021 Under the rapid response process, the factory could face penalties, and repeat offenders could even have their goods blocked from entering the United States. New York Times, "Complaint Accuses Mexican Factories of Labor Abuses, Testing New Trade Pact," 10 May 2021

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

13 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Response.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 May. 2021.

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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 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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