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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.
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 responding
  • responding to all this, modern science and invention have come to the aid of drama.
  • Many farmers, responding to consumer demand, are delving into the tomato's preindustrial past to find the flavors of yesteryear.
  • But in fact these were dance bands, and they earned their popularity by generating or skillfully responding to dance crazes.
  • Throughout the month-long course, there had been no variables, no emphasis on responding to situations.
  • But during the past two decades companies have got significantly better at responding quickly to changes in the marketplace.
  • He begins responding to people, talking, opening himself up to feelings.
  • Although that comment was removed, comments responding to it were not.
  • But clearly the company is also responding to the less-than-humming hydrogen-energy business climate.
  • But others think that the demand will have trouble responding quickly to lower prices.
  • The insula is also involved in telling and responding to jokes.
British Dictionary definitions for responding


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
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Word Origin and History for responding



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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Encyclopedia Article for responding


plainchant melody and text originally sung responsorially-i.e., by alternating choir and soloist or soloists. Responsorial singing of the psalms was adopted into early Christian worship from Jewish liturgical practice. Most frequently the congregation sang a short refrain, such as Amen or Alleluia, between psalm verses sung by a cantor. As medieval plainchant developed, more elaborate refrains (R) were sung by a choir alternating with soloists singing psalm verses (V), producing a musical form R V1 R V2R. The responsory, or refrain, was frequently abbreviated on its repetition. Its text usually related to the meaning of the feast day or the content of the psalm. Only a few such chants survive in this long form, which is now normally curtailed.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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