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’
    • ‘The following remarks are an attempt to respond to his comment.’
    • ‘My ability to read and respond to replies will be limited until next week, but feel free to send them along.’
    • ‘Tess opened her mouth to respond to his last comment, but he stopped her by grabbing her shoulder.’
    • ‘A total of 899 participants responded to the survey.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I try to respond to each comment I receive, no matter how much it might upset me.’
    • ‘He'll come back when he wants, " Jady responded with a smile.’
    • ‘I could barely open my mouth to respond to its statement.’
    • ‘She didn't feel it was necessary to respond to that comment.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The clerks either could not be reached or did not respond to requests for comment.’
    • ‘"Just a… nightmare, " she responded with a hopefully believable smile.’
    • ‘It is up to them to respond to any comments if they are unhappy with their standard of service.’
    • ‘Her office did not respond to requests for comment Friday.’
    • ‘We would like to take this opportunity to respond to the commentary with more explication of the content of the papers themselves.’
    • ‘Go to our message boards to respond to Andrew's comments.’
    • ‘I have been asked to respond on behalf of the judges who heard the appeal.’
    • ‘I immediately responded via e-mail that I would.’
    • ‘I just wanted to respond to a comment Amy made on an earlier post.’
    • ‘I was determined to remain a disinterested, objective observer in order to respond to student questions or problems.’
    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.’
      • ‘The windows were open, so I could hear the priest say mass and ring his handbell, and hear the parishioners respond and sing.’
      • ‘Encourage soloists or small ensembles to sing the stanzas while the congregation responds with the refrain.’
    2. 1.2[no object] (of a person) act or behave in reaction to someone or something.
      ‘she turned her head, responding to his grin with a smile’
      • ‘The police should also respond positively to the call last week by a York boating group for improved riverbank security.’
      • ‘At last people have responded to the invitation for new members!’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I like it if it involves interaction, people responding to the work as function.’
      • ‘So this is an ideology I think that people are responding to, but it's not a good one.’
      • ‘It's a good plan, and it's a plan that people are responding to.’
      • ‘People responded with a kindness and generosity I couldn't have imagined.’
      • ‘No clause in the agreement established a mechanism to anticipate or respond to market failures.’
      • ‘Our people have responded with courage and compassion, calm and reason, resolve and fierce determination.’
      • ‘I think people are clearly responding to politics differently.’
      • ‘Today, responding to market demands, it is emerging as a fashionable garment.’
      • ‘Could it be, David, that people are responding to the real crises in society in various ways?’
      • ‘Unicef and its partners are also responding to the psychosocial aspects of the disaster.’
      • ‘York police respond quickly to most calls for help.’
      • ‘The volunteers appealed to the public to cooperate and many visitors responded to this call by taking cloth and paper bags.’
      • ‘People were responding to their situation in the only way they could.’
      • ‘The good news is that people are responding to the level 5 restrictions.’
      • ‘Having the finals weekend was a prestigious event to host and people responded to it.’
      • ‘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.’
    3. 1.3 React quickly or positively to a stimulus or treatment.
      ‘his back injury has failed to respond to treatment’
      • ‘All we can do is wait and see how the injury responds to treatment but he is naturally keen to play.’
      • ‘Rosacea responds to treatment but cannot be cured.’
      • ‘Drug treatment is effective for many patients and the disease may respond quickly to medication.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The length of treatment will depend on the severity of the condition and how the eye responds to treatment.’
      • ‘Dana told us she has been responding well to treatment, and her tumor is shrinking.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Tonsillitis caused by streptococcal bacteria responds well to antibiotic treatment, clearing the infection more quickly than without 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.’
      • ‘Even when the scalp responds to treatment, it may take a few months for new hair to grow.’
      • ‘These positive symptoms usually respond well to treatment.’
      • ‘People with depression need help and support to overcome a problem that often responds well to treatment.’
      • ‘People are not responding to antibiotics or antivirals.’
      • ‘However, Marian has responded well to treatment and is continuing to do so.’
      • ‘Preliminary results from a pilot study indicate that patients respond favorably to this treatment.’
      • ‘Thirty percent of the patients appeared to respond positively to this treatment intervention.’
      • ‘Most cases of dandruff will respond well to home treatments and a good internal regime.’
      • ‘All patients responded favorably to treatment with folic acid and tetracycline.’
      • ‘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
    4. 1.4Bridge [with object] Make (a bid) in answer to one's partner's preceding bid.
      • ‘If your partner doubles in second seat, you must respond if your RHO passes.’
      • ‘Partner must respond in best minor suit and and should never bid 3NT.’
      • ‘Don't respond at the level two, if you have less than 11 points, unless, you are supporting your partner.’


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

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The E and W responds of both nave arcades are Romanesque.’
    • ‘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.’
  • 2(in church use) a responsory; a response to a versicle.

    • ‘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 (in the noun senses): from Old French, from respondre to answer from Latin respondere, from re- again + spondere to pledge The verb dates from the mid 16th century.