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 During this time in history – when the threat of the potentially deadly COVID-19 virus has overlapped with protests in response to the tragic deaths of George Floyd and others – the boys feel that their motto is especially important. Michelle Matthews |, al, "Teenage entrepreneurs want to help you ‘Get Through It’," 13 July 2020 Similar guidelines were issued in 2009 in response to the spread of the H1N1 flu. Chase Difeliciantonio,, "Workers, job seekers in San Francisco would gain protections under emergency ordinance," 13 July 2020 These reforms, intended to foster a more racially and culturally inclusive environment on a campus, come in response to a joint letter released by student-athletes June 12. Nick Moyle,, "Texas responds to student-athletes’ call for change," 13 July 2020 Iqbal Theba, who played Principal Figgins on the FOX series, shared an image of a broken heart via Twitter in response to Rivera's death. Rosy Cordero,, "Glee cast and other stars react to Naya Rivera's death," 13 July 2020 Groups on Twitter are calling for more protesters to gather Sunday night in response to La Bella’s injury. oregonlive, "Protests continue in Portland for 46th day after demonstrator hospitalized previous night," 13 July 2020 West Chester received some negative attention when township leaders imposed a 30-day curfew in response to a Black Lives Matter protest in early June. Scott Wartman, The Enquirer, "'We are what America should be.' 4 Democratic women are challenging Greater Cincinnati's GOP congressmen," 13 July 2020 In a move that wasn’t surprising but saddened many youth baseball fans, county officials recently ordered NASA Pony Baseball to close down in response to the rising COVID-19 numbers. Robert Avery, Houston Chronicle, "Pandemic puts an end to NASA Pony baseball season," 13 July 2020 The piece was in response to a poll by this newspaper showing that 9 out of 10 Native Americans were not offended by the Redskins team name, just as owner Snyder had insisted for years. Washington Post, "Corporate money, Black Lives Matter protests and elites’ opinion drove Redskins name change," 13 July 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

23 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Response.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Aug. 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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