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See more synonyms for responsive on Thesaurus.com
  1. responding especially readily and sympathetically to appeals, efforts, influences, etc.: a responsive government.
  2. Physiology. acting in response, as to some stimulus.
  3. characterized by the use of responses: responsive worship.
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Origin of responsive

First recorded in 1375–1425; late Middle English word from Late Latin word respōnsīvus. See response, -ive
Related formsre·spon·sive·ly, adverbhy·per·re·spon·sive, adjectivehy·per·re·spon·sive·ly, adverbhy·per·re·spon·sive·ness, nounnon·re·spon·sive, adjectivenon·re·spon·sive·ly, adverbqua·si-re·spon·sive, adjectivequa·si-re·spon·sive·ly, adverbun·re·spon·sive, adjectiveun·re·spon·sive·ly, adverbun·re·spon·sive·ness, noun


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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for unresponsive

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • That made him angry, and he said that insular envy made me unresponsive.

    American Notes

    Rudyard Kipling

  • She did not answer; unresponsive as a statue, she did not move.

    The Strollers

    Frederic S. Isham

  • There is a fathomless look in his eyes and he is cold and unresponsive.

    Mary Louise in the Country

    L. Frank Baum (AKA Edith Van Dyne)

  • He was unresponsive, and I could feel the restlessness of his fingers in my hair.


    Cleveland Moffett

  • So unresponsive and dumb was he that they called him half-witted.

    Old Man Savarin and Other Stories

    Edward William Thomson

British Dictionary definitions for unresponsive


  1. not reacting or responding to an action, question, suggestion, etc
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  1. reacting or replying quickly or favourably, as to a suggestion, initiative, etc
  2. (of an organism) reacting to a stimulus
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Derived Formsresponsively, adverbresponsiveness, 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

Word Origin and History for unresponsive


1660s, "unable to reply," from un- (1) "not" + responsive. Meaning "not responding" is from 1775. Related: Unresponsiveness.

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early 15c., "making answer," from Middle French responsif and directly from Late Latin responsivus "answering," from Latin respons-, past participle stem of respondere (see respond). Meaning "responding to influence or action" is from 1762. Related: Responsively; responsiveness.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper