Definition of response in English:



  • 1A verbal or written answer.

    ‘there was laughter at his response to the question’
    mass noun ‘we received 400 applications in response to one job ad’
    • ‘The practitioner then explains what to expect during the session, as certain words would be spoken and verbal responses expected from the client.’
    • ‘With few exceptions, the governor's responses, written or otherwise, are not preserved.’
    • ‘She received a few puzzled looks, but got no verbal responses.’
    • ‘A report to the board outlines the outcome of the public consultation, which included two well attended public meetings and 20 written responses.’
    • ‘So, there will be no verbal responses from the audience to the verdict, regardless of the verdict.’
    • ‘Each article I write gets responses or ‘hits’, in the form of letters and emails, and I apologise to those that I don't reply to - I have to ration my time.’
    • ‘Readers' responses ranged from delight to dismay - just the sort of diversity of opinion that innovation thrives on.’
    • ‘They received just 14 written responses and another 15 after the public meeting.’
    • ‘A further 1,500 written responses, many hostile, came from individuals and organisations.’
    • ‘But despite the advertising blitz, the response has been poor, with just 194 on the internet and a further 19 written responses.’
    • ‘Rian grabbed a pencil, and wrote down a quick response, and tossed the piece of paper back to her.’
    • ‘He wrote back immediately saying that he ought to write a real response but didn't have time at the moment.’
    • ‘A total of 502 people attended the public consultation process and the council had received 152 written responses.’
    • ‘Our advice worked and she received an immediate, positive response.’
    • ‘The verbal responses to the film are constructed using data from the ‘real life’ of viewers rather than the fictive world defined by the film and filmmaker.’
    • ‘Reaction from the initial blueprint was hugely positive with more than 500 people visiting the exhibition and 50 written responses.’
    • ‘The district council received 301 written responses about the plans and more than 120 people attended a special meeting in October.’
    • ‘Inherited verbal or other social responses are fragmentary and trivial.’
    • ‘The hearing was told his four written responses contained ‘political content’ and were a misuse of council letterheads.’
    • ‘Even without a verbal response he could tell that his guess had been right.’
    1. 1.1 An answer to a question in a test, questionnaire, etc.
      ‘table 3.1 shows the mean number of correct responses given by each age group’
      • ‘However, he refused to rule out the possibility that responses to the questionnaire could be used as evidence in the company's High Court damages claim.’
      • ‘The process has just begun and already a number of issues have arisen from the consultation at the public meeting and the initial review of the questionnaire responses.’
      • ‘All ideas will be carefully recorded and analysed and, together with the responses from the questionnaire, will be fed into the process of designing the plan.’
      • ‘This is suggested since the new version of the questionnaire generated more consistent responses to the questions on recency of drug use.’
      • ‘The research was based on responses to 4,175 questionnaires sent to major employers in the UK's 28 biggest cities.’
      • ‘Responses were marked and the percentage of correct responses for each question calculated.’
      • ‘The authors marked the responses and calculated the percentage of correct responses for each question.’
      • ‘She knew every answer for each question and even wrote extra in her responses.’
      • ‘These differences undoubtedly have small effects on respondent's questionnaire responses.’
      • ‘When the researcher read them the aforementioned questionnaire items and their responses, they acknowledged having made a mistake.’
      • ‘Table 1 summarises the questionnaire distribution and responses.’
      • ‘But researchers caution that these studies, which were based on patient responses to questionnaires, are far from definitive.’
      • ‘As previously mentioned, her study examines the responses to a questionnaire of fifty-eight music majors at the University of Florida.’
      • ‘Much will depend on responses to a questionnaire drawn up by Jenna which is due to be sent out to schools and special units asking disabled teenagers exactly what they would like to see.’
      • ‘Coming from a patriarchal society, the responses to such questionnaires are interesting, if not very surprising.’
      • ‘It may be said that the responses to the questionnaire only confirm what we thought in any case.’
      • ‘Based on his responses, the test said David had a tendency to want to work to personal timetables and particular standards of performance.’
      • ‘The study was based on responses to two related questionnaires sent to chief academic officers and general education administrators.’
      • ‘The survey, which drew upon responses to 9,000 questionnaires, confirms that far from declining, the practice has actually grown over the last decade.’
      • ‘That first number was comprised of responses to a questionnaire about ‘language environment.’’
      answer, reply, acknowledgement, rejoinder, retort, return, riposte, sally, counter
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    2. 1.2usually responses A part of a religious liturgy said or sung by a congregation in answer to a minister or cantor.
      • ‘The ceremony is begun by the priest, assisted by a cantor or church choir that sings the responses.’
      • ‘So out went audible responses, the minister's surplice and the litany.’
      • ‘Unison congregational responses alternate with vernacular stanzas sung by a cantor.’
      • ‘He also arranged Byzantine liturgical responses in Albanian for mixed choirs.’
      • ‘I listened as, at her own request, she was baptized into the catholic faith, and I made the liturgical responses proper to the child's parent.’
  • 2A reaction to something.

    ‘an extended, jazzy piano solo drew the biggest response from the crowd’
    mass noun ‘an Honours degree course in Japanese has been established in response to an increasing demand’
    • ‘In response to the motion, the elastic reaction force exerted on the site by the substrate starts to rise.’
    • ‘The show has provoked an emotional response from audiences everywhere it has been staged.’
    • ‘In response to the plight of the two families, a former parish councillor is asking people to help them out by sending donations.’
    • ‘In response to the tragedy and the subsequent inquiry and recommendations, major changes were made to the safety regime.’
    • ‘In response to that, writers groups warned against signing any such form.’
    • ‘In response to a growing need, Women's Aid is expanding and developing its services.’
    • ‘In response to the spate of armed robberies, the Post Office told postmasters and postmistresses warning them to be extra vigilant.’
    • ‘In response to customer demand, the Glasgow store extended its home delivery service earlier this year to include the republic.’
    • ‘He was happy that his marathon performance had evoked a very positive response from the audience.’
    • ‘"I was overwhelmed by the response from people all over the country.’
    • ‘In response to my challenge yesterday to make a playlist of happy songs, Keith wins hands down.’
    • ‘In response to my request for more information about Schumann resonances Neil explained them as follows.’
    • ‘In response to complaints, the governor extended polling by two hours but that led to yet more abuses.’
    • ‘In response to reports of the collision, North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service sent units from as far away as 35 miles.’
    • ‘In response to the vote, the Liberals have hinted they are going to look elsewhere to fulfil our healthcare needs.’
    • ‘In response to increasing battlefield firepower, horse cavalry reduced the armor it used.’
    • ‘In response to this lack of leadership, I have decided it is time to campaign for my own legislation.’
    • ‘In response to this a new service is being launched by Chambers all over the country called Chamber HR.’
    • ‘In response to the proposal to ban our organisation, we have held face to face meetings with leading groups and personalities.’
    • ‘In response to reader demand, we've also added a comments section.’
    reaction, reply, reciprocation, retaliation
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    1. 2.1Physiology Psychology An excitation of a nerve impulse caused by a change or event; a physical reaction to a specific stimulus or situation.
      ‘we unwittingly induce Pavlovian-type responses in dogs by establishing a rigid routine for feeding’
      ‘there is considerable species variation in the stomach's response to alcohol’
      • ‘Stress is not a single conditioning but a response to physical and psychological stimuli.’
      • ‘The response to the stimulus on the right and left sides should be compared.’
      • ‘The response to noxious stimuli can be modulated by their repeated application.’
      • ‘The synaesthetic experience is an automatic and involuntary response to certain stimuli.’
      • ‘Hypnotizability is an inherited trait that produces specific physiological and psychophysiological responses.’
    2. 2.2 The way in which a mechanical or electrical device responds to a stimulus or stimuli.
      ‘the throttle response from the 1870 cc engine is almost petrol sharp’
      • ‘The complexes also show mechanical responses to pH changes and electrical stimulation.’
      • ‘When impossible to differentiate electrical responses from background noise, amplitude values were set at 2 V.’
      • ‘These instruments incorporate 2 - D detectors with spectral responses that fit the waveband of the instruments.’
      • ‘The sound quality and the bass response are good, even when compared with normal speakers.’
      • ‘People often want to know the polychromatic response of a lens or other optical system.’
    3. 2.3Bridge A bid made in answer to one's partner's preceding bid.
      • ‘A three-level reverse is made when partner's response forces you to the 3-level to show your second suit.’
      • ‘The response of this person's partner is to play their highest card in this suit as well.’
      • ‘Further, a Showcase card may not be used in a trick response when not following suit.’
      • ‘Bidding the negative 2 Diamonds response enables your partner to go some way towards knowing if there are thirty-two points in your combined hands.’


Middle English: from Old French respons or Latin responsum ‘something offered in return’, neuter past participle of respondere (see respond).