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.
  3. to react favorably.
  4. Physiology. to exhibit some action or effect as if in answer; react: Nerves respond to a stimulus.
  5. to correspond (usually followed by to).
  6. 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.
    1. a short anthem chanted at intervals during the reading of a lection.
    2. responsory.
    3. response.

Origin of respond

1350–1400; (noun) Middle English: responsory < Old French, derivative of respondre to respond < Latin respondēre to promise in return, reply, answer, equivalent to re- re- + spondēre to pledge, promise (see sponsor); (v.) < Latin respondēre
Related formso·ver·re·spond, verbun·re·spond·ing, adjective

Synonyms for respond Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for unresponding

Historical Examples of unresponding

  • Why should he be as entombed and unresponding as if the screws were in the lid?

  • He bent over and lightly kissed her closed, unresponding lips.

    The Lions of the Lord

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • She was mystically happy in the incomparable marvel of the miracle, and in her care of the dull, unresponding man.

    The Pretty Lady

    Arnold E. Bennett

  • "I done like dem ole times de best," ventures Peter, presently, to his unresponding companion.

    Strangers and Wayfarers

    Sarah Orne Jewett

  • And she kissed her warmly, not seeming to notice the averted eyes and the unresponding lips.

    Not Quite Eighteen

    Susan Coolidge

British Dictionary definitions for unresponding


  1. to state or utter (something) in reply
  2. (intr) to act in reply; reactto respond by issuing an invitation
  3. (intr foll by to) to react favourablythis patient will respond to treatment
  4. 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
Derived Formsrespondence or respondency, nounresponder, noun

Word Origin for respond

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



c.1300, respound, from Old French respondere "respond, correspond," from Latin respondere "respond, answer to, promise in return," from re- "back" (see re-) + spondere "to pledge" (see spondee). Modern spelling and pronunciation is from c.1600. Related: Responded; responding.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper