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[ri-spon-siv] /rɪˈspɒn sɪv/
responding especially readily and sympathetically to appeals, efforts, influences, etc.:
a responsive government.
Physiology. acting in response, as to some stimulus.
characterized by the use of responses:
responsive worship.
Origin of responsive
late Middle English
First recorded in 1375-1425; late Middle English word from Late Latin word respōnsīvus. See response, -ive
Related forms
responsively, adverb
hyperresponsive, adjective
hyperresponsively, adverb
hyperresponsiveness, noun
nonresponsive, adjective
nonresponsively, adverb
quasi-responsive, adjective
quasi-responsively, adverb
unresponsive, adjective
unresponsively, adverb
unresponsiveness, noun
1. receptive, understanding, sympathetic. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for unresponsiveness
Historical Examples
  • Many young people were described as silent nihilists, persons who were characterized by unresponsiveness and vast indifference.

    Area Handbook for Bulgaria

    Eugene K. Keefe, Violeta D. Baluyut, William Giloane, Anne K. Long, James M. Moore, and Neda A. Walpole
  • Irritated by her unresponsiveness, he grew almost impertinent.

    The Locusts' Years Mary Helen Fee
  • She shook her head again and relapsed into unresponsiveness.

    The Quickening Francis Lynde
  • He told Theo all, and was vexed by her unresponsiveness to his new-born enthusiasm.

    Mrs. Severn, Vol. 1 (of 3) Mary Elizabeth Carter
  • Full of the warmth of his own emotions, he failed to grasp the significance of her unresponsiveness.

    The Mayor of Warwick

    Herbert M. Hopkins
  • He said no one knew the agonies he suffered at seeing his mother's disappointment over his apparent coldness and unresponsiveness.

  • Not even Bradley's unresponsiveness seemed to have a decided discouraging effect.

    A Spoil of Office Hamlin Garland
  • She made no reply and angered by her unresponsiveness he added sharply: "It's rather dangerous, you know."

    Fidelity Susan Glaspell
  • With this apologia for Elodie's unresponsiveness, conscientiously recorded later by Andrew Lackaday, we will now proceed.

    The Mountebank William J. Locke
  • He glanced at Monck with the words, almost as if seeking sympathy; but Monck's face was masklike in its unresponsiveness.

    The Lamp in the Desert

    Ethel M. Dell
British Dictionary definitions for unresponsiveness


reacting or replying quickly or favourably, as to a suggestion, initiative, etc
(of an organism) reacting to a stimulus
Derived Forms
responsively, adverb
responsiveness, noun
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 unresponsiveness



early 15c., "making answer," from Middle French responsif and directly from Late Latin responsivus "answering," from Latin respons-, past participle stem of respondere (see respond). Meaning "responding to influence or action" is from 1762. Related: Responsively; responsiveness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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