Words related to respond
word-forming element meaning "back, back from, back to the original place;" also "again, anew, once more," also conveying the notion of "undoing" or "backward," etc. (see sense evolution below), c. 1200, from Old French re- and directly from Latin re- an inseparable prefix meaning "again; back; anew, against."
Watkins (2000) describes this as a "Latin combining form conceivably from Indo-European *wret-, metathetical variant of *wert- "to turn." De Vaan says the "only acceptable etymology" for it is a 2004 explanation which reconstructs a root in PIE *ure "back."
In earliest Latin the prefix became red- before vowels and h-, a form preserved in redact, redeem, redolent, redundant, redintegrate, and, in disguise, render (v.). In some English words from French and Italian re- appears as ra- and the following consonant is often doubled (see rally (v.1)).
The many meanings in the notion of "back" give re- its broad sense-range: "a turning back; opposition; restoration to a former state; "transition to an opposite state." From the extended senses in "again," re- becomes "repetition of an action," and in this sense it is extremely common as a formative element in English, applicable to any verb. OED writes that it is "impossible to attempt a complete record of all the forms resulting from its use," and adds that "The number of these is practically infinite ...."
Often merely intensive, and in many of the older borrowings from French and Latin the precise sense of re- is forgotten, lost in secondary senses, or weakened beyond recognition, so that it has no apparent semantic content (receive, recommend, recover, reduce, recreate, refer, religion, remain, request, require). There seem to have been more such words in Middle English than after, e.g. recomfort (v.) "to comfort, console; encourage;" recourse (n.) "a process, way, course." Recover in Middle English also could mean "obtain, win" (happiness, a kingdom, etc.) with no notion of getting something back, also "gain the upper hand, overcome; arrive at;" also consider the legal sense of recovery as "obtain (property) by judgment or legal proceedings."
And, due to sound changes and accent shifts, re- sometimes entirely loses its identity as a prefix (rebel, relic, remnant, restive, rest (n.2) "remainder," rally (v.1) "bring together"). In a few words it is reduced to r-, as in ransom (a doublet of redemption), rampart, etc.
Prefixed to a word beginning with e, re- is separated by a hyphen, as re-establish, re-estate, re-edify, etc. ; or else the second e has a dieresis over it: as, reëstablish, reëmbark, etc. The hyphen is also sometimes used to bring out emphatically the sense of repetition or iteration : as, sung and re-sung. The dieresis is not used over other vowels than e when re is prefixed : thus, reinforce, reunite, reabolish. [Century Dictionary, 1895]
1650s, from Late Latin sponsor "sponsor in baptism," in Latin "a surety, guarantee, bondsman," from sponsus, past participle of spondere "give assurance, promise solemnly," from Proto-Italic *spondejo- "to pledge," literally "to libate many times," from PIE *spondeio- "to libate" (source also of Hittite ishpanti- "to bring a fluid sacrifice, pour;" Greek spendein "make a drink offering," spondē "libation, offering of wine;" compare spondee). Sense of "person who pays for a radio (or, after 1947, TV) program" is first recorded 1931.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.