verb (used without object), re·plied, re·ply·ing.

  1. to make answer in words or writing; answer; respond: to reply to a question.
  2. to respond by some action, performance, etc.: to reply to the enemy’s fire.
  3. to return a sound; echo; resound.
  4. Law. to answer a defendant’s plea.

verb (used with object), re·plied, re·ply·ing.

  1. to return as an answer (usually used in a negative combination or followed by a clause with that): Not a syllable did he reply. He replied that no one would go.

noun, plural re·plies.

  1. an answer or response in words or writing.
  2. a response made by some action, performance, etc.

verb -plies, -plying or -plied (mainly intr)

  1. to make answer (to) in words or writing or by an action; respondhe replied with an unexpected move
  2. (tr; takes a clause as object) to say (something) in answerhe replied that he didn’t want to come
  3. law to answer a defendant’s plea
  4. to return (a sound); echo

noun plural -plies

  1. an answer made in words or writing or through an action; response
  2. the answer made by a plaintiff or petitioner to a defendant’s case

late 14c., “to make an answer,” from Old French replier “to reply, turn back,” from Late Latin replicare “to reply, repeat,” in classical Latin “fold back, fold over, bend back,” from re- “back, again” (see re-) + plicare “to fold” (see ply (v.1)). Latin literal sense of “to fold back” is attested from mid-15c. in English but is not now used. Modern French répliquer (Middle French replier) is directly from Late Latin. Related: Replied; replying.


1550s, from reply (v.).

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