Synonyms & Antonyms of reply

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 to act or behave in response (as to a stimulus or influence)
  • replied to the news that she had won the scholarship by jumping around the room and cheering

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2 to speak or write in reaction to a question or to another reaction
  • please reply to my question at your earliest convenience

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Synonyms & Antonyms of reply (Entry 2 of 2)

1 action or behavior that is done in return to other action or behavior
  • decided the best reply to a wrongful discharge from employment was a lawsuit claiming discrimination

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2 something spoken or written in reaction especially to a question
  • I look forward to your reply to my request

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See the Dictionary Definition 

Frequently Asked Questions About reply

How does the noun reply differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of reply are answer, rejoinder, response, and retort. While all these words mean "something spoken, written, or done in return," reply often suggests a thorough response to all issues, points, or questions raised.

a point-by-point reply to the accusation

Where would answer be a reasonable alternative to reply?

Although the words answer and reply have much in common, answer implies the satisfying of a question, demand, call, or need.

had answers to all their questions

When can rejoinder be used instead of reply?

The meanings of rejoinder and reply largely overlap; however, rejoinder can be a response to a reply or to an objection.

a salesman with a quick rejoinder to every argument

When is response a more appropriate choice than reply?

The words response and reply can be used in similar contexts, but 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

When would retort be a good substitute for reply?

In some situations, the words retort and reply are roughly equivalent. However, 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

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Time Traveler for reply

Time Traveler

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

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Cite this Entry

“Reply.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Nov. 2020.

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More from Merriam-Webster on reply

Dictionary: Definition of reply

Nglish: Translation of reply for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of reply for Arabic Speakers

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