verb (used without object), re·plied, re·ply·ing.

verb (used with object), re·plied, re·ply·ing.

to return as an answer (usually used in a negative combination or followed by a clause with that): Not a syllable did he reply. He replied that no one would go.

noun, plural re·plies.

an answer or response in words or writing.
a response made by some action, performance, etc.

Origin of reply

1350–1400; Middle English replien (v.) < Middle French replier to fold back, reply < Latin replicāre to unroll, fold back; see replicate
Related formsre·pli·er, nounun·re·plied, adjectiveun·re·ply·ing, adjective

Synonyms for reply

Synonym study

6. See answer. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for replies

Contemporary Examples of replies

Historical Examples of replies

  • All these answers, were in truth no replies at all, for they did not disprove the facts.

    The Grand Old Man

    Richard B. Cook

  • "The Sorrows of Werter," replies my lady, as well as I could hear.

  • The Duc replies, "Why did you not say that some one was listening, that some one was hidden?"

    My Double Life

    Sarah Bernhardt

  • My messages were soon sent, and then I sat down to wait for the replies.

  • "Thought I'd see you off," he replies to your expression of surprise at his early rising.

    The Forest

    Stewart Edward White

British Dictionary definitions for replies


verb -plies, -plying or -plied (mainly intr)

to make answer (to) in words or writing or by an action; respondhe replied with an unexpected move
(tr; takes a clause as object) to say (something) in answerhe replied that he didn't want to come
law to answer a defendant's plea
to return (a sound); echo

noun plural -plies

an answer made in words or writing or through an action; response
the answer made by a plaintiff or petitioner to a defendant's case
Derived Formsreplier, noun

Word Origin for reply

C14: from Old French replier to fold again, reply, from Latin replicāre to fold back, from re- + plicāre to fold
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

Word Origin and History for replies



late 14c., "to make an answer," from Old French replier "to reply, turn back," from Late Latin replicare "to reply, repeat," in classical Latin "fold back, fold over, bend back," from re- "back, again" (see re-) + plicare "to fold" (see ply (v.1)). Latin literal sense of "to fold back" is attested from mid-15c. in English but is not now used. Modern French répliquer (Middle French replier) is directly from Late Latin. Related: Replied; replying.



1550s, from reply (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper