American English

Definition of reply verb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they reply
    he / she / it replies
    past simple replied
    -ing form replying
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  1. 1[intransitive, transitive] to say or write something as an answer to someone or something reply (to somebody/something) (with something) to reply to a question/an advertisement He never replied to any of my letters. She only replied with a smile. + speech “I won't let you down,” he replied confidently. reply that… The senator replied that he was not in a position to comment. Which Word?answer / replyAnswer and reply are the most common verbs used for speaking or writing as a reaction to a question, letter, etc.Note that you answer a person, question, or letter, not “answer to” them, but you reply to someone or something:I’m writing to answer your questions I’m writing to reply to your questions. I’m writing to answer to your questions.Answer can be used with or without an object:I haven't answered her e-mail yet. I knocked on the door but no one answered.Reply is often used with the actual words spoken:“I won’t let you down,” he replied.Respond is less common and more formal:The directors refused to respond to questions.You can only answer a door or a phone.
  2. 2[intransitive] reply (to something) (with something) to do something as a reaction to something that someone has said or done The terrorists replied to the government's statement with more violence.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: reply

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