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[ri-spons] /rɪˈspɒns/
an answer or reply, as in words or in some action.
Biology. any behavior of a living organism that results from an external or internal stimulus.
  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.
Bridge. a bid based on an evaluation of one's hand relative to the previous bid of one's partner.
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 forms
responseless, adjective
counterresponse, noun
1. rejoinder. See answer. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for responses
  • It imitates the fashion of a prayer-book, gives the responses of the congregation and is printed with red rubrics.
  • Neither do they disdain to consult them, nor neglect the responses which they return.
  • The really surprising thing was how varied our responses were.
  • And these scientists are investigating the physical responses that underlie the functioning of our fingers and skin.
  • The amygdala integrates the information flow from the olfactory bulb cells and projects to areas governing behavior responses.
  • Exhibitions can stimulate memories and, as with fine drama, produce meaningful emotional responses.
  • The movie seems intended to elicit physical responses.
  • All the others have been face saving actions or responses to vague transgressions threatening speculative results.
  • They found that their volunteers' brains' responses to the two commands were clearly different.
  • These people are known from other work to have poor social-emotional responses.
British Dictionary definitions for responses


the act of responding; reply or reaction
(bridge) a bid replying to a partner's bid or double
(usually pl) (Christianity) a short sentence or phrase recited or sung by the choir or congregation in reply to the officiant at a church service
(electronics) the ratio of the output to the input level, at a particular frequency, of a transmission line or electrical device
any pattern of glandular, muscular, or electrical reactions that arises from stimulation of the nervous system
Derived Forms
responseless, adjective
Word Origin
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
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Word Origin and History for responses



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
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responses in Medicine

response re·sponse (rĭ-spŏns')
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.
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responses in Science
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 © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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