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[ree-akt] /riˈækt/
verb (used without object)
to act in response to an agent or influence:
How did the audience react to the speech?
to act reciprocally upon each other, as two things.
to act in a reverse direction or manner, especially so as to return to a prior condition.
to act in opposition, as against some force.
to respond to a stimulus in a particular manner:
reacting to a shock by jumping; to react to the word “coward” with anger.
to undergo a chemical reaction.
Origin of react
1635-45; re- + act, probably modeled on Medieval Latin reagere


[ree-akt] /riˈækt/
verb (used with object)
to act or perform again.
First recorded in 1650-60; re- + act Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for react
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Previously, this dog did not react when it saw people stoop down.

    The Sexual Question August Forel
  • There is thus no domain of the mind which is not influenced by love, and which does not react on love in its turn.

    The Sexual Question August Forel
  • At any rate he will then be less often deceived and will react in a more plastic manner.

    The Sexual Question August Forel
  • But the children are well aware of this fact, consciously or not, and react accordingly.

    The Sexual Question August Forel
  • "That's why you react so strongly from love in your plays," Roger said judicially.

    Changing Winds

    St. John G. Ervine
British Dictionary definitions for react


(intransitive; foll by to, upon etc) (of a person or thing) to act in response to another person, a stimulus, etc, or (of two people or things) to act together in a certain way
(intransitive) foll by against. to act in an opposing or contrary manner
(intransitive) (physics) to exert an equal force in the opposite direction to an acting force
(chem) to undergo or cause to undergo a chemical reaction
Word Origin
C17: from Late Latin reagere, from re- + Latin agere to drive, do


(transitive) to act or perform again
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for react

1640s, "to exert, as a thing acted upon, an opposite action upon the agent," from re- + act (v.). Chemical sense is from 1944. Related: Reacted; reacting (1610s). For sense development, see reaction. Meaning "perform again" (often re-act) is from 1650s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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react in Medicine

react re·act (rē-ākt')
v. re·act·ed, re·act·ing, re·acts

  1. To act in response to a stimulus.

  2. To undergo a chemical reaction.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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