[countable, uncountable] an act of replying to something/somebody in speech, writing or by some action We had over 100 replies to our advertisement. I asked her what her name was but she made no reply. (formal) I am writing in reply to your letter of 16 March. (British English) a reply-paid envelope (= on which you do not have to put a stamp because it has already been paid for) (British English) Morocco scored four goals without reply to win the game. Which Word?answer / replyVerbs Answer 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 somebody 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 email yet. I knocked on the door but nobody 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 were unwilling to respond to questions. You can only answer a door or a phone. see also rejoin2, retort, get back to somebodyNouns Note the phrases in answer to and in reply to:I’m writing in answer to your letter. see also response, rejoinder, retort Word Origin late Middle English (as a verb): from Old French replier, from Latin replicare
‘repeat’, later ‘make a reply’, from re- ‘back, again’ + plicare ‘to fold’.Extra examples ‘I’m in here!’ came the muffled reply. ‘Mmm!’ she grunted in reply. ‘No comment’ is his standard reply to most questions. ‘No!’ came the reply. A reply came back almost by return of post. A reply came back the next day. Grace could offer no reply. Have you had a reply to your letter yet? He made no reply, but simply walked away. Her reply was simple. ‘No,’ she said. His reply was short and to the point. I am grateful to you for having given me a right of reply to the article in your magazine about my company. I am writing in reply to your request for information on holidays in Italy. I await your reply with interest. I must write my letter in time for them to send back a reply. I’ll post the replies later on my web page. It’s easy to just hit the reply button. Many thanks for your thoughtful reply, we greatly appreciate it. No reply seemed to be forthcoming. Please complete the reply card and return it to us as soon as possible. She heard no reply. She quickly left the room before he had a chance to reply. She refused to give a straight reply, deciding rather to defer the question. The questionnaire produced 9 000 replies. The report elicited a formal reply from the department. They waited patiently for a reply but none seemed to be forthcoming. What did they say in reply? a reply from the minister my reply to your query He muttered a reply but I couldn’t understand what he said. I asked her what her name was but she made no reply. I haven’t received a reply from him yet. We had over 110 replies to our advertisement.