[ri-spon-duh nt]


a person who responds or makes reply.
Law. a defendant, especially in appellate and divorce proceedings.


giving a response; answering; responsive.
Law. being a respondent.
Psychology. of or relating to behavior that occurs consistently in response to a particular stimulus.
Obsolete. corresponding.

Origin of respondent

1520–30; < Latin respondent- (stem of respondēns), present participle of respondēre. See respond, -ent Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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Contemporary Examples of respondent

Historical Examples of respondent

British Dictionary definitions for respondent



law a person against whom a petition, esp in a divorce suit, or appeal is brought


a less common word for responsive
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 respondent

1520s, "one who answers," from Latin respondentem (nominative respondens), present participle of respondere (see respond).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper