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

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for response


Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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?
See More
Recent Examples on the Web Sixteen years later, does the champ know the correct responses? Carly Mallenbaum, USA TODAY, "'Jeopardy!' airs its first Ken Jennings episode. Does the GOAT know his missed clues today?," 5 May 2020 In March, Kadlec was designated by HHS Secretary Alex Azar to lead the department's response to the pandemic. Anchorage Daily News, "Before the pandemic, Trump’s stockpile chief put the focus on biodefense. An old client benefited.," 5 May 2020 As Travel + Leisure previously explained, scientists at Hiroshima University in Japan conducted three experiments in 2012 with 132 university students to better understand the human response to adorable animal images. Stacey Leasca, Travel + Leisure, "The Denver Zoo Baby Rhino Cam Is Here to Brighten Your Day," 5 May 2020 The announcement comes after Kroger employees have died from the virus and workers have protested the company's response to the outbreak. Sarah Brookbank,, "Updates: Ohio opening phases, mask requirement, Kroger testing workers, free NKY testing," 5 May 2020 A week after some states reopened broad swaths of business, often to disappointing consumer response, Trump is now trying to assure the public that the nation is ready for its new normal. Ronald J. Hansen, azcentral, "Trump in Arizona: President's visit to Phoenix will be 2nd in 11 weeks," 5 May 2020 While many of the initial grants address immediate needs of access to food, shelter, health care and response to job and income loss, several grants also support the educational and emotional needs of children and adults. Nataly Keomoungkhoun, Dallas News, "United Way receives $5 million gift to support community coronavirus needs," 4 May 2020 Brake feel is nigh on perfect, with telepathic responses and no lost motion. Dave Vanderwerp, Car and Driver, "The Base 2020 Porsche 911 Is a Worthy Six-Figure Sports Car," 4 May 2020 How does this response affect the severity of someone’s illness? The Economist, "Covid-19 Leaving lockdown means understanding immune responses to the virus," 2 May 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about response

Time Traveler for response

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for response

Last Updated

8 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Response.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Jun. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

May 2020 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a blooming wisteria tree
  • Which is a synonym of exiguous?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!