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[ri-spons] /rɪˈspɒns/
an answer or reply, as in words or in some action.
Biology. any behavior of a living organism that results from an external or internal stimulus.
  1. a verse, sentence, phrase, or word said or sung by the choir or congregation in reply to the officiant.
    Compare versicle (def 2).
  2. responsory.
Bridge. a bid based on an evaluation of one's hand relative to the previous bid of one's partner.
Origin of response
1250-1300; < Latin respōnsum, noun use of neuter past participle of respondēre to respond; replacing Middle English respounse < Middle French respons < Latin, as above
Related forms
responseless, adjective
counterresponse, noun
1. rejoinder.
Synonym Study
1. See answer. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for response
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Ask the young noble, who has been to him as a father; and his response will be 'Anaxagoras.'

    Philothea Lydia Maria Child
  • Certain faculties develop in response to the pressure of environment.

    The Spenders Harry Leon Wilson
  • Receiving no response she knocked again, this time with more force.

  • By response to response we spin round a friend the age-web which lengthens into the death-web.

  • She could not allude to such things without at least a possibility of response.

    Weighed and Wanting George MacDonald
British Dictionary definitions for response


the act of responding; reply or reaction
(bridge) a bid replying to a partner's bid or double
(usually pl) (Christianity) a short sentence or phrase recited or sung by the choir or congregation in reply to the officiant at a church service
(electronics) the ratio of the output to the input level, at a particular frequency, of a transmission line or electrical device
any pattern of glandular, muscular, or electrical reactions that arises from stimulation of the nervous system
Derived Forms
responseless, adjective
Word Origin
C14: from Latin rēsponsum answer, from rēspondēre to respond
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 response

c.1300, from Old French respons (Modern French réponse) and directly from Latin responsum "an answer," noun use of neuter past participle of respondere "to respond" (see respond).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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response in Medicine

response re·sponse (rĭ-spŏns')
A reaction, as that of an organism or any of its parts, to a specific stimulus.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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response in Science
A reaction, as that of an organism or any of its parts, to a specific stimulus. See more at classical conditioning.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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