Definition of respond in English:



  • 1[reporting verb] Say something in reply:

    [no object] ‘she could not get Robert to respond to her words’
    [with clause] ‘he responded that it would not be feasible’
    [with direct speech] ‘‘It's not part of my job,’ Belinda responded’
    • ‘Her office did not respond to requests for comment Friday.’
    • ‘I could barely open my mouth to respond to its statement.’
    • ‘He'll come back when he wants, " Jady responded with a smile.’
    • ‘It is up to them to respond to any comments if they are unhappy with their standard of service.’
    • ‘A total of 899 participants responded to the survey.’
    • ‘"Just a… nightmare, " she responded with a hopefully believable smile.’
    • ‘Go to our message boards to respond to Andrew's comments.’
    • ‘I was ready to respond to statements and comments and shy smiles in the halls from people who didn't know how to address the issue.’
    • ‘We would like to take this opportunity to respond to the commentary with more explication of the content of the papers themselves.’
    • ‘Tess opened her mouth to respond to his last comment, but he stopped her by grabbing her shoulder.’
    • ‘She heard Will respond to Tom's remark quietly, and, though she did not hear what he said, she heard Tom growl and move on.’
    • ‘The clerks either could not be reached or did not respond to requests for comment.’
    • ‘I immediately responded via e-mail that I would.’
    • ‘I was determined to remain a disinterested, objective observer in order to respond to student questions or problems.’
    • ‘The following remarks are an attempt to respond to his comment.’
    • ‘She didn't feel it was necessary to respond to that comment.’
    • ‘I have been asked to respond on behalf of the judges who heard the appeal.’
    • ‘My ability to read and respond to replies will be limited until next week, but feel free to send them along.’
    • ‘I try to respond to each comment I receive, no matter how much it might upset me.’
    • ‘I just wanted to respond to a comment Amy made on an earlier post.’
    answer, reply to, say something in response to
    say in response, answer, reply, rejoin, retort, return, riposte, counter, fling back, hurl back, retaliate, come back
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 (of a congregation) say or sing the response in reply to a priest.
      • ‘Line-singing is an ancient form of worship where a precentor, or leader, sings the first line of a psalm and the congregation responds, finishing off the verse.’
      • ‘Encourage soloists or small ensembles to sing the stanzas while the congregation responds with the refrain.’
      • ‘The windows were open, so I could hear the priest say mass and ring his handbell, and hear the parishioners respond and sing.’
  • 2[no object] (of a person) do something as a reaction to someone or something:

    ‘she responded to his grin with a smile’
    • ‘People were responding to their situation in the only way they could.’
    • ‘York police respond quickly to most calls for help.’
    • ‘Today, responding to market demands, it is emerging as a fashionable garment.’
    • ‘We'd taken that section out, but I'm going to put it back in; the combination of unexpected occurrence and documentary vocabulary is what people responded to.’
    • ‘The volunteers appealed to the public to cooperate and many visitors responded to this call by taking cloth and paper bags.’
    • ‘The good news is that people are responding to the level 5 restrictions.’
    • ‘Unicef and its partners are also responding to the psychosocial aspects of the disaster.’
    • ‘No clause in the agreement established a mechanism to anticipate or respond to market failures.’
    • ‘The police should also respond positively to the call last week by a York boating group for improved riverbank security.’
    • ‘Could it be, David, that people are responding to the real crises in society in various ways?’
    • ‘People responded with a kindness and generosity I couldn't have imagined.’
    • ‘Our people have responded with courage and compassion, calm and reason, resolve and fierce determination.’
    • ‘I like it if it involves interaction, people responding to the work as function.’
    • ‘At last people have responded to the invitation for new members!’
    • ‘Having the finals weekend was a prestigious event to host and people responded to it.’
    • ‘It's a good plan, and it's a plan that people are responding to.’
    • ‘So this is an ideology I think that people are responding to, but it's not a good one.’
    • ‘A lot of credit must go to the people who have thought this event up and organised it, and people have responded with a very good turnout.’
    • ‘The surrealism that people are probably responding to is just part of the process.’
    • ‘I think people are clearly responding to politics differently.’
    1. 2.1 React quickly or positively to a stimulus or treatment:
      ‘his back injury has failed to respond to treatment’
      • ‘Most cases of dandruff will respond well to home treatments and a good internal regime.’
      • ‘People are not responding to antibiotics or antivirals.’
      • ‘Drug treatment is effective for many patients and the disease may respond quickly to medication.’
      • ‘These positive symptoms usually respond well to treatment.’
      • ‘A secure setting is seldom a therapeutic environment, and patients who are given forced treatment are unlikely to respond as well as patients who consent.’
      • ‘Rosacea responds to treatment but cannot be cured.’
      • ‘The length of treatment will depend on the severity of the condition and how the eye responds to treatment.’
      • ‘Preliminary results from a pilot study indicate that patients respond favorably to this treatment.’
      • ‘All patients responded favorably to treatment with folic acid and tetracycline.’
      • ‘All we can do is wait and see how the injury responds to treatment but he is naturally keen to play.’
      • ‘Tonsillitis caused by streptococcal bacteria responds well to antibiotic treatment, clearing the infection more quickly than without treatment.’
      • ‘Dana told us she has been responding well to treatment, and her tumor is shrinking.’
      • ‘People with depression need help and support to overcome a problem that often responds well to treatment.’
      • ‘Thirty percent of the patients appeared to respond positively to this treatment intervention.’
      • ‘However, Marian has responded well to treatment and is continuing to do so.’
      • ‘But provided she continues to respond well to the treatment and does not develop any other illnesses Dolly is expected to survive for several more years.’
      • ‘If it occurs it will respond quickly to local treatment.’
      • ‘Even when the scalp responds to treatment, it may take a few months for new hair to grow.’
      • ‘If you have high blood pressure and it's not responding well to treatment, it could be because of a medication or other substance you're taking.’
      • ‘Marie has been responding well to dialysis treatment and has no immediate plans to put her name down for a third transplant.’
      react to, act in response to, make a response
      View synonyms
    2. 2.2Bridge [with object] Make (a bid) in answer to one's partner's preceding bid:
      ‘to partner's opening one heart it is dangerous to respond two clubs’
      [no object] ‘East would have responded holding a high spade honour plus an ace’
      • ‘Don't respond at the level two, if you have less than 11 points, unless, you are supporting your partner.’
      • ‘Partner must respond in best minor suit and and should never bid 3NT.’
      • ‘If your partner doubles in second seat, you must respond if your RHO passes.’


  • 1Architecture
    A half-pillar or half-pier attached to a wall to support an arch, especially at the end of an arcade.

    • ‘The original pillars may have been clustered like the east respond or octagonal like that at the west, and fragments of such pillars are among the stones lying in the north-west vestry.’
    • ‘The E and W responds of both nave arcades are Romanesque.’
    • ‘The arcade is carried on half-round responds at E and W ends, pier 1 on either side is round, pier 2 (corresponding to the original W wall of the nave) is square with half-round responds to E and W.’
  • 2(in church use) a response to a versicle; a responsory.

    • ‘This small Respond is written by Lassus for 4 voices.’
    • ‘After the repetition of the Antiphon at the end of the last Psalm of a Nocturn, is said the appropriate Versicle and Respond according to the Office of the Day.’
    • ‘Text and music do not necessarily coincide in their classification: a ferial text may have a seasonal melody; equally a seasonal, proper or common text may use a ferial melody (eg a short respond or versicle and response).’


Late Middle English (as a noun): from Old French, from respondre to answer, from Latin respondere, from re- again + spondere to pledge. The verb dates from the mid 16th century.