[ ri-spond ]
See synonyms for: respondrespondedresponding on

verb (used without object)
  1. to reply or answer in words: to respond briefly to a question.

  2. to make a return by some action as if in answer: to respond generously to a charity drive.

  1. to react favorably.

  2. Physiology. to exhibit some action or effect as if in answer; react: Nerves respond to a stimulus.

  3. to correspond (usually followed by to).

  4. Bridge. to make a response.

verb (used with object)
  1. to say in answer; reply.

  1. Architecture. a half pier, pilaster, or the like projecting from a wall as a support for a lintel or an arch, the other side of which is supported on a free-standing pier or column.

  2. Ecclesiastical.

Origin of respond

First recorded in 1350–1400; (for the verb) from Latin respondēre “to promise in return, reply, answer,” from re- re- + spondēre “to pledge, promise”; (for the noun) Middle English: “responsory,” from Old French, derivative of respondre “to reply,” from Latin respondēre

Other words for respond

Other words from respond

  • o·ver·re·spond, verb
  • un·re·spond·ing, adjective

Words Nearby respond Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use respond in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for respond


/ (rɪˈspɒnd) /

  1. to state or utter (something) in reply

  2. (intr) to act in reply; react: to respond by issuing an invitation

  1. (intr foll by to) to react favourably: this patient will respond to treatment

  2. an archaic word for correspond

  1. architect a pilaster or an engaged column that supports an arch or a lintel

  2. Christianity a choral anthem chanted in response to a lesson read at a church service

Origin of respond

C14: from Old French respondre, from Latin rēspondēre to return like for like, from re- + spondēre to pledge; see spouse, sponsor

Derived forms of respond

  • respondence or respondency, noun
  • responder, 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