Definition of reply in English:

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Pronunciation: /rəˈplī/

verb (replies, replied)

[reporting verb]
1Say something in response to something someone has said: [no object]: he was gone before we could reply to his last remark [with clause]: she replied that she had been sound asleep [with direct speech]: “I’m OK—just leave me alone,” he replied
More example sentences
  • I doubt I'm entitled to go too far in this discussion but I couldn't resist the impulse to reply to the last comment.
  • Nobody from the Film Council is on hand to reply to Cox's remarks.
  • When trying to convince Eliza to play along with his bet, he lures her with promises of endless chocolates and just as she is about to reply to him he pops one in her mouth, silencing her.
1.1 [no object] Write back to someone one has received a letter or email from: she replied with a long letter the next day
More example sentences
  • As my colleague, Colin Hay wrote an effective counter-critique, I decided not to reply directly.
  • I used to write letters but they never replied, she said.
  • When I would write back to him, he would punctually reply, usually on the same day that he received my letter.
1.2 [no object] Respond by a similar action or gesture: they replied to the shelling with a heavy mortar attack on the area

noun (plural replies)

1A verbal or written answer: I received a reply from the firm’s managing director “No,” was the curt reply
More example sentences
  • They make you ask what is going on, and lead you to answers which go beyond a verbal reply.
  • Still getting used to the place, and no time to read the huge threads or write large replies.
  • I would receive instant replies and reviews from readers in all corners of the world.
answer, response, rejoinder, retort, riposte
informal comeback
1.1The action of answering someone or something: I am writing in reply to your letter of June 1
More example sentences
  • Sikes made no reply; but, pulling open the door, of which the Jew had turned the lock, dashed into the silent streets.
  • Some of them get through fourteen episodes thinking that the emails she sends them are personal to them, and in reply to the ones that they send her.
  • Some might use the ultimate moral catch-phrase ‘two wrongs don't make a right’ in reply to this situation but the fact of the matter is that two rights don't make a right, and a wrong and a right don't make a right.
1.2A response in the form of a gesture, action, or expression: we scored the first goal and they hit a late reply
More example sentences
  • England needed exactly 36 off the final over to win and finished at 200-6 in reply to India's 218-4.
  • Hashim and Zahid claimed two wickets each. Jamia Ashrafia, in reply, could score only 109 runs for the loss of six wickets in 10 overs.
1.3 Law A plaintiff’s response to the defendant’s plea.
Example sentences
  • In 1556, the British Lord Chancellor, appalled by the excessive 120 page length of a plaintiff's reply to a defendant's plea, had him fined ten pounds and imprisoned.



Example sentences
  • The replier seeking affirmation that he'd defended my fair sex properly.
  • Some may object that there is nothing that says that the Spirit is a person in these passages, but it is the burden of proof upon the replier to show that personality is not part of the Spirit's makeup.
  • People could get away with more but, equally, the replier could get away with saying pretty much nothing about the situation.


Late Middle English (as a verb): from Old French replier, from Latin replicare 'repeat', later 'make a reply' (see replicate).

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: re·ply

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