1. an answer or reply, as in words or in some action.
  2. Biology. any behavior of a living organism that results from an external or internal stimulus.
  3. Ecclesiastical.
    1. a verse, sentence, phrase, or word said or sung by the choir or congregation in reply to the officiant.Compare versicle(def 2).
    2. responsory.
  4. Bridge. a bid based on an evaluation of one's hand relative to the previous bid of one's partner.

Origin of response

1250–1300; < Latin respōnsum, noun use of neuter past participle of respondēre to respond; replacing Middle English respounse < Middle French respons < Latin, as above
Related formsre·sponse·less, adjectivecoun·ter·re·sponse, noun

Synonyms for response

Synonym study

1. See answer. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for responseless

Historical Examples of responseless

  • Hour after hour the rods were plied with stolid monotony, responseless and unnoticed.

    Chats on Angling

    H. V. Hart-Davis

  • The beauty they had known lay here; soulless, inert, rigid and responseless, but here.

    The Sword of Damocles

    Anna Katharine Green

  • After that she continued to fire until the responseless click of the hammer told her the gun was empty.

    The Alaskan

    James Oliver Curwood

British Dictionary definitions for responseless


  1. the act of responding; reply or reaction
  2. bridge a bid replying to a partner's bid or double
  3. (usually plural) Christianity a short sentence or phrase recited or sung by the choir or congregation in reply to the officiant at a church service
  4. electronics the ratio of the output to the input level, at a particular frequency, of a transmission line or electrical device
  5. any pattern of glandular, muscular, or electrical reactions that arises from stimulation of the nervous system
Derived Formsresponseless, adjective

Word Origin for response

C14: from Latin rēsponsum answer, from rēspondēre to respond
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 responseless



c.1300, from Old French respons (Modern French réponse) and directly from Latin responsum "an answer," noun use of neuter past participle of respondere "to respond" (see respond).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

responseless in Medicine


  1. A reaction, as that of an organism or any of its parts, to a specific stimulus.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

responseless in Science


  1. A reaction, as that of an organism or any of its parts, to a specific stimulus. See more at classical conditioning.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.