Definition of respondent in English:



  • 1Law
    A party against whom a petition is filed, especially one in an appeal or a divorce case.

    • ‘Whether the respondents cross petition against the petitioners was demurrable and should be struck out.’
    • ‘The statutory amendments shift the evidential burden of proof to the respondent if the complainant proves what he or she is required to prove at the first stage.’
    • ‘The appellant's second ground of appeal is that the respondents are not suitable to be the donor's attorneys.’
    • ‘Very well, and these other affidavits, I take it, are affidavits filed by the respondent.’
    • ‘The first respondents to the appeal must pay the appellant's costs of the application.’
    litigator, opponent in law, opponent, contestant, contender, disputant, plaintiff, claimant, complainant, petitioner, appellant, respondent, party, interest, defendant, accused
    View synonyms
  • 2A person who replies to something, especially one supplying information for a questionnaire or responding to an advertisement.

    ‘out of the many thousands of respondents to our questionnaire, under a fifth were full-time housewives’
    • ‘The first part contains questions designed to collect basic demographic information regarding the respondent.’
    • ‘With the information thereby obtained, a main respondent was designated, who then completed a household questionnaire.’
    • ‘Denominators vary because not all respondents answered all questions.’
    • ‘The respondents requested information on a number of occasions; this was not forwarded to them.’
    • ‘Always be clear about how you want respondents to indicate their replies when answering closed questions.’
    • ‘Each respondent then dropped the questionnaire into the store's ballot box.’
    • ‘Among the questions, respondents were asked to name their top three business role models.’
    • ‘Each respondent answered three questions, of which only the last concerned Mars.’
    • ‘Almost one fourth of the respondents replied that it was cheaper than they expected.’
    • ‘After you finish question 12, thank the respondent for their time and offer them the info sheet that explains more about this study.’
    • ‘The questionnaire invited respondents to comment on each of the 31 indicators.’
    • ‘The questioning also includes queries about how prepared the respondent would be to pay extra in order to speed up improvements to the water network.’
    • ‘At two years follow up we sent a postal questionnaire to those respondents who had been free of forearm pain at baseline.’
    • ‘The first question asks the age at which respondents believe old age begins.’
    • ‘The research team administered the questionnaires verbally to each respondent.’
    • ‘We did not question respondents about why they did not use the internet, and so can say little on this issue.’
    • ‘A few respondents thought they might be missing out on potentially interesting information.’
    • ‘The cover letter explained that there were no codes that could be used to link a completed questionnaire to a particular respondent.’
    • ‘Much remains to be learned about how respondents go about answering written questionnaires.’
    • ‘Completion of the questionnaire constituted informed consent from the respondent.’


  • 1Law
    In the position of a party defending against a petition.

    ‘the respondent defendant’
    • ‘It was submitted by Counsel for the respondent party that not to decide a matter referred to him for his decision amounted to giving a decision in excess of the jurisdiction of the adjudicator.’
    • ‘But if he is named as a respondent, he is a respondent party to the proceedings, is he not?’
    • ‘It is the respondent mother's position that she was coerced into accepting the revised support.’
    • ‘Now, of course, none of the respondent defendants were parties to that action.’
    • ‘The position of the respondent husband may also be briefly stated.’
  • 2Replying to something.

    ‘the respondent firms in the survey’
    • ‘Analysis included comparison between and within respondent groups.’
    • ‘The unequal sample sizes in the four respondent groups were noted.’
    • ‘Thus the actual levels of perceived social support cannot be discriminated by respondent category.’
    • ‘What are the primary learning needs of fathers from the perspective of both respondent groups?’
    • ‘The most disturbing respondent narrative came from a female runner.’
  • 3Psychology
    Involving or denoting a response, especially a conditioned reflex, to a specific stimulus.

    • ‘The results demonstrated that the sociality of a situation potentiates respondent laughter.’
    • ‘The first two, habituation and respondent learning are specific to behaviors called reflexes.’
    • ‘The kind of behavior that is correlated with specific eliciting stimuli may be called respondent behavior, and a given correlation a respondent.’
    • ‘Suppose a student cannot correctly state the distinction between operant and respondent behavior but can shape the lever press.’


Early 16th century (in respondent): from Latin respondent- answering, offering in return, from the verb respondere (see respond).