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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 responses
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The responses of bride and groom were unhesitating, even firm.

    Ruggles of Red Gap Harry Leon Wilson
  • Neither do they disdain to consult them, nor neglect the responses which they return.

  • No one dropped the ring or mispronounced the responses, or trod on Evie's train, or cried.

    Howards End E. M. Forster
  • She made her responses in a steady voice heard by every one in the room.

    The Wall Street Girl Frederick Orin Bartlett
  • Naturally he got a shower of responses—serious, playful, burlesque.

British Dictionary definitions for responses


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 responses



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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responses 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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responses 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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