[ ri-plahy ]
See synonyms for reply on
verb (used without object),re·plied, re·ply·ing.
  1. to make answer in words or writing; answer; respond: to reply to a question.

  2. to respond by some action, performance, etc.: to reply to the enemy's fire.

  1. to return a sound; echo; resound.

  2. Law. to answer a defendant's plea.

verb (used with object),re·plied, re·ply·ing.
  1. 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.
  1. an answer or response in words or writing.

  2. 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

synonym study For reply

6. See answer.

Other words for reply

Other words from reply

  • re·pli·er, noun
  • un·re·plied, adjective
  • un·re·ply·ing, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use reply in a sentence

  • Ralph Towne, M.D., he was replying, he was born with a gold spoon in his pretty mouth!

    Tessa Wadsworth's Discipline | Jennie M. Drinkwater
  • The stern officer gave a surly refusal, replying, "My orders are to take you first."

  • He looked rather surprised, and rolled for a moment without replying.

    The Amazing Interlude | Mary Roberts Rinehart
  • If I am sometimes long in replying it is on the score of health, which prevents me and even sends me to bed for many days.

    Charles Baudelaire, His Life | Thophile Gautier
  • Without replying, she laid her finger on her rosy lips, and turning quickly away, ran back into the venta.

    The Border Rifles | Gustave Aimard

British Dictionary definitions for reply


/ (rɪˈplaɪ) /

verb-plies, -plying or -plied (mainly intr)
  1. to make answer (to) in words or writing or by an action; respond: he replied with an unexpected move

  2. (tr; takes a clause as object) to say (something) in answer: he replied that he didn't want to come

  1. law to answer a defendant's plea

  2. to return (a sound); echo

nounplural -plies
  1. an answer made in words or writing or through an action; response

  2. the answer made by a plaintiff or petitioner to a defendant's case

Origin of reply

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

Derived forms of reply

  • replier, 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