re·​spon·​sive | \ ri-ˈspän(t)-siv How to pronounce responsive (audio) \

Definition of responsive

1 : giving response : constituting a response : answering a responsive glance responsive aggression
2 : quick to respond or react appropriately or sympathetically : sensitive
3 : using responses a responsive liturgy

Other Words from responsive

responsively adverb
responsiveness noun

Did you know?

Responsive comes from the joining of Latin responsus with the suffix -ivus, which gave English -ive. That suffix changes verbs into adjectives, as in suggestive or corrosive. Responsus is a form of respondēre, which means "to answer" and is the source of English's respond. Responsive enters the language with the meaning "giving response" or "answering." Examples are "a responsive letter" or "a responsive glance." Nowadays, it variously describes people or things that immediately respond or react to something, such as "a responsive audience" or "a car with responsive steering."

Examples of responsive in a Sentence

The patient was not responsive to the treatment. The store is very responsive to the needs of its customers.
Recent Examples on the Web The two-year yield, which is more responsive to short-term Fed policy, climbed to 3.061% from 3.041% from a day earlier. Matt Grossman, WSJ, 27 July 2022 But in recent days, local health authorities have been more responsive to the activists’ demands. Annalisa Merelli, Quartz, 21 July 2022 It can often be configured to prevent unwanted behavior or notify cybersecurity teams, allowing businesses to be more responsive to insider threats, regardless of their physical location. Yec, Forbes, 12 July 2022 Three in four of those surveyed also said that members of Congress should be more responsive to the views of their constituents as a whole, rather than focusing on just those who voted for them. New York Times, 8 July 2022 Alongside this level of convenience, this mouse is really responsive, with a 20,000 dots-per-inch optical sensor, eight programmable buttons, and 70 hours of battery life. Adam Speight, Wired, 22 July 2022 Still, many of the study's findings suggest EV-only makers simply aren’t as responsive to inquiries as dealerships. John Voelcker, Car and Driver, 20 July 2022 In response, members of the council are asking Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) to use local resources and work in coordination with the council to ensure the federal government is fully responsive to the existing needs. Vanessa G. Sánchez, Washington Post, 19 July 2022 Investors also had difficulty engaging U.S. companies, which were not as responsive as their European counterparts, according to U.N. PRI. Nana Ama Sarfo, Forbes, 28 June 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'responsive.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of responsive

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of responsive was in the 15th century

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Last Updated

9 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Responsive.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for responsive


re·​spon·​sive | \ ri-ˈspän-siv How to pronounce responsive (audio) \

Kids Definition of responsive

1 : showing interest He was not responsive to our invitation.
2 : quick to respond in a sympathetic way The store is responsive to its customer's needs.

Other Words from responsive

responsively adverb
responsiveness noun


re·​spon·​sive | \ ri-ˈspän(t)-siv How to pronounce responsive (audio) \

Medical Definition of responsive

: making a response especially : responding to treatment pain responsive to opioids


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