reply 1 of 2


2 of 2


Synonym Chooser

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

Thesaurus Entries Near reply

Cite this Entry

“Reply.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Jun. 2023.

More from Merriam-Webster on reply

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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