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respond (v.)

"make answer, give a reply in words," c. 1300, respounden, from Anglo-French respundre, Old French respondere "respond, correspond" and directly from Latin respondere "respond, answer to, promise in return," from re- "back" (see re-) + spondere "to pledge" (see sponsor (n.)). Modern spelling and pronunciation is from c. 1600. From 17c. also "make a liturgical response." Related: Responded; responding.

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responder (n.)

"one who or that which responds or replies," by 1834 of persons; 1867 of devices (telegraphy); agent noun from respond (v.). Meaning "device which automatically retransmits a pulse or signal" is by 1945.

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responsive (adj.)

early 15c., "making answer, responding," from Old French responsif and directly from Late Latin responsivus "answering," from Latin respons-, past-participle stem of respondere (see respond). Meaning "responding readily to influence or action, able or inclined to respond" is from 1762. Related: Responsively; responsiveness.

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correspondent (adj.)

early 15c., "having an analogous relationship (to), answering, matching," a sense taken up since 19c. by corresponding; from Medieval Latin correspondentem, present participle of correspondere "correspond, harmonize, reciprocate," from assimilated form of com "together, with (each other)" (see com-) + respondere "to answer" (see respond).

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correspondence (n.)

early 15c., "congruence, resemblance, harmony, agreement," from Medieval Latin correspondentia, from correspondentem (nominative correspondens), present participle of correspondere "correspond, harmonize, reciprocate," from assimilated form of com "together, with (each other)" (see com-) + respondere "to answer" (see respond). Sense of "communication by letters" is first attested 1640s; that of "the letters which pass between correspondents" is from 1771.

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riposte (n.)

1707, in fencing, "a quick thrust made after parrying a lunge," from French riposte, etymologically, "a response," by dissimilation from risposte (17c.), from Italian risposta "a reply," noun use of fem. past participle of rispondere "to respond," from Latin respondere "respond, answer to, promise in return" (see respond). Sense of "sharp retort; quick, sharp reply," is attested by 1865, on the notion of "a counter-stroke." As a verb, by 1851.

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correspond (v.)

1520s, "to be in agreement, to be in harmony with," from French correspondre (14c.) or directly from Medieval Latin correspondere"correspond, harmonize, reciprocate," from assimilated form of com "together, with (each other)" (see com-) + respondere "to answer" (see respond).

Originally in Medieval Latin of two things in mutual action, but by later Medieval Latin it could be used of one thing only. In English, sense of "to be similar" (to) is from 1640s; that of "to hold communication with" is from c. 1600; specifically "to communicate by means of letters" from 1640s (in mid-18c. it also could mean "have sex"). Related: Corresponded; corresponding.

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amenableness (n.)

"liability to answer, disposition to respond to," 1830, from amenable + -ness.

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amenability (n.)

"amenableness, liability to answer, disposition to respond to," 1761; see amenable + -ity.

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overreact (v.)

also over-react, "respond with excessive force or emotion," by 1928, from over- + react (v.). Related: Overreacted; overreacting; overreaction.

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