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[ri-spon-siv] /rɪˈspɒn sɪv/
responding especially readily and sympathetically to appeals, efforts, influences, etc.:
a responsive government.
Physiology. acting in response, as to some stimulus.
characterized by the use of responses:
responsive worship.
Origin of responsive
late Middle English
1375-1425; late Middle English < Late Latin respōnsīvus. See response, -ive
Related forms
responsively, adverb
hyperresponsive, adjective
hyperresponsively, adverb
hyperresponsiveness, noun
nonresponsive, adjective
nonresponsively, adverb
quasi-responsive, adjective
quasi-responsively, adverb
unresponsive, adjective
unresponsively, adverb
unresponsiveness, noun
1. receptive, understanding, sympathetic. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for unresponsive
  • The program may appear to be unresponsive for a few moments, but after that you'll see that your default location's been changed.
  • To make matters worse, patients usually become unresponsive to traditional drug therapy.
  • In people who are born blind the visual cortex is completely unresponsive to any auditory or visual stimulation.
  • In comparison, conventional gas engines seem sluggish and unresponsive.
  • Neurological examination was normal except for the patient's stuporous, unresponsive mental state.
  • It is not appropriate to be unresponsive to the pathologists conducting the second autopsy.
  • Corruption in moderate doses can overcome unresponsive bureaucracy and be an instrument of progress.
  • Some people with brain injuries to the prefrontal lobe display a peculiar cognitive deficit: they are emotionally unresponsive.
  • Few speakers reach every listener all the time, so don't focus on unresponsive audience members.
  • Instead of shuffling an unresponsive student through an unresponsive system, they had taken action to keep their campus safe.
British Dictionary definitions for unresponsive


not reacting or responding to an action, question, suggestion, etc


reacting or replying quickly or favourably, as to a suggestion, initiative, etc
(of an organism) reacting to a stimulus
Derived Forms
responsively, adverb
responsiveness, 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
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Word Origin and History for unresponsive

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



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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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