What does reply mean?

Definitions for reply

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word reply.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. answer, reply, responsenoun

    a statement (either spoken or written) that is made to reply to a question or request or criticism or accusation

    "I waited several days for his answer"; "he wrote replies to several of his critics"

  2. reply, responseverb

    the speech act of continuing a conversational exchange

    "he growled his reply"

  3. answer, reply, respondverb

    react verbally

    "She didn't want to answer"; "answer the question"; "We answered that we would accept the invitation"


  1. replynoun

    A written or spoken response; part of a conversation.

  2. replynoun

    Something given in reply.

  3. replyverb

    To give a written or spoken response, especially to a question, request, accusation or criticism; to answer.

  4. replyverb

    To act or gesture in response.

    Johnabella replied to Partario's insult with a slap to his face.

  5. replyverb

    To repeat something back; to echo.

  6. Etymology: The verb derives, via the replier, from the replico, from re + plico; the noun derives from the verb by verbalisation.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Replynoun

    Answer; return to an answer.

    Etymology: replique, Fr.

    But now return,
    And with their faint reply this answer join. William Shakespeare.

    If I sent him word, it was not well cut; he would send me word, he cut it to please himself: if again, it was not well cut, this is called the reply churlish. William Shakespeare.

    One rises up to make replies to establish or confute what has been offered on each side of the question. Isaac Watts.

    To whom with sighs, Ulysses gave reply;
    Ah, why ill-suiting pastime must I try? Alexander Pope.

  2. To Replyverb

    To return for an answer.

    The tempter stood, nor had what to reply. John Milton.

  3. To REPLYverb

    To answer; to make a return to an answer.

    Etymology: repliquer, Fr.

    O man! who art thou that repliest against God? Rom. ix.

    Would we ascend higher to the rest of these lewd persons, we should find what reason Castalio’s painter had to reply upon the cardinal, who blamed him for putting a little too much colour into St. Peter and Paul’s faces: that it was true in their life time they were pale mortified men, but that since they were grown ruddy, by blushing at the sins of their successors. Francis Atterbury, Sermons.

    His trembling tongue invok’d his bride;
    With his last voice Eurydice he cry’d:
    Eurydice the rocks and river-banks reply’d. Dryden.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Replyverb

    to make a return in words or writing; to respond; to answer

  2. Replyverb

    to answer a defendant's plea

  3. Replyverb

    figuratively, to do something in return for something done; as, to reply to a signal; to reply to the fire of a battery

  4. Replyverb

    to return for an answer

  5. Replyverb

    that which is said, written, or done in answer to what is said, written, or done by another; an answer; a response


  1. Reply

    The reply is a response by plaintiff to defendant's answer. A reply occurs only when defendant has asserted a counterclaim or the court has ordered a reply. It is important to keep in mind that "plaintiff" in this context may also refer to an impleaded party. So, if a defendant impleads a party, this new party is the third-party defendant and the original defendant is the third-party plaintiff. The third-party plaintiff must file a complaint on the third-party defendant, who then must answer. The court may order a reply to this third-party defendant's answer.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Reply

    rē-plī′, v.t. to fold back: to answer.—v.i. to make response: to meet an attack, as to reply to the enemy's fire—(law) to a defendant's plea.—n. an answer: the power of answering: a counter-attack: (mus.) the answer of a figure.—ns. Rep′licant; Replicā′tion, a reply: repetition: (law) the plaintiff's answer to a plea.—adj. Replicā′tive. [O. Fr. replier—L. replicāre, re-, back, plicāre, to fold.]

The New Hacker's Dictionary

  1. reply

    See followup.

Military Dictionary and Gazetteer

  1. reply

    It is the duty of a court to prevent new matter from being introduced into the prosecution or defense, but a prisoner may urge in his defense mitigating circumstances, or examine witnesses as to character or services, and produce testimonials of such facts, without its being considered new matter. If any point of law be raised, or any matter requiring explanation, the judge-advocate may explain. No other reply to be admitted.—Hough.

Editors Contribution

  1. reply

    To create a form of communication.

    They did give a reply to the message they got when they got a moment.

    Submitted by MaryC on January 11, 2020  

  2. reply

    To create an accurate, perfect, effective and efficient form of communication.

    They did give a reply to the message they received accurately and efficiently.

    Submitted by MaryC on January 11, 2020  

Matched Categories

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'reply' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #3276

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'reply' in Written Corpus Frequency: #3408

  3. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'reply' in Nouns Frequency: #1215

  4. Verbs Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'reply' in Verbs Frequency: #282

How to pronounce reply?

How to say reply in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of reply in Chaldean Numerology is: 1

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of reply in Pythagorean Numerology is: 4

Examples of reply in a Sentence

  1. Abraham Lincoln:

    Find out what whiskey he drinks and send all of my generals a case, if it will get the same results. - in reply to comments about General Grant's drinking problems

  2. Jesse Watters:

    My friends and family … don’t defend Biden. I ask them ‘how is it going, guys?’ [and they reply] ‘Oh, don’t look at me’, it’s true. Nobody is a Biden voter.

  3. Sergey Beskrestnov:

    People then reply :' It is not an operating system, it is real,' and the player can't believe it is real.

  4. Alfred Tennyson, 1st Baron Tennyson:

    Theirs is not to make reply: Theirs is not to reason why: Theirs is but to do and die.

  5. Elizabeth Bruch:

    That might feel a little demoralizing, but there is a very optimistic take home message, if you're willing to put in the effort and you're comfortable with your low reply rate, you certainly can pursue and date people who are out of your league.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for reply

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

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    a male servant (especially a footman)
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