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[ri-spond] /rɪˈspɒnd/
verb (used without object)
to reply or answer in words:
to respond briefly to a question.
to make a return by some action as if in answer:
to respond generously to a charity drive.
to react favorably.
Physiology. to exhibit some action or effect as if in answer; react:
Nerves respond to a stimulus.
to correspond (usually followed by to).
Bridge. to make a response.
verb (used with object)
to say in answer; reply.
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.
  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 forms
overrespond, verb
unresponding, adjective
1. rejoin. 2. rise, react, reply. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for respond
  • Your third option is to examine the intent behind the question and respond with an answer as it might apply to the job.
  • If students say they wanted to respond with kindness but in the end did not, ask what stopped them.
  • Dogs respond well when they are trained to help people with disabilities.
  • He strives to understand how cells respond to infection to learn how to better fight disease.
  • They respond to their close neighbors without considering the movements of the group.
  • The president also plans to create protocols to detail how the campuses should respond to the ongoing protest.
  • Moreover, an apparently naïve query may be a test of how well you can respond to uninformed students.
  • Consumers respond to that undervaluation, as they must.
  • When asked the meaning of being human, they respond with ten thousand different voices.
  • Clouds will respond to climate change in ways that further heat the planet, a new study suggests.
British Dictionary definitions for respond


to state or utter (something) in reply
(intransitive) to act in reply; react: to respond by issuing an invitation
(intransitive) foll by to. to react favourably: this patient will respond to treatment
an archaic word for correspond
(architect) a pilaster or an engaged column that supports an arch or a lintel
(Christianity) a choral anthem chanted in response to a lesson read at a church service
Derived Forms
respondence, respondency, noun
responder, noun
Word Origin
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
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Word Origin and History for respond

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
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