Definition of “reply” - English Dictionary

“reply” in British English

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replyverb [ I ]

uk /rɪˈplaɪ/ us /rɪˈplaɪ/

B1 to answer:

[ + speech ] "Where are you going?" I asked. "Home," he replied.
[ + that ] I replied that it was twelve o'clock.
I try to reply to letters the day I receive them.

to react to an action by someone else:

She replied to the threats by going to the police.
France took an early lead before Spain replied with three goals in 14 minutes.

More examples

  • Since they refuse to reply, I think we've won the argument by default.
  • He was angry but managed, with great self-restraint, to reply calmly.
  • Do you think it's significant that he hasn't replied to my letter yet?
  • Six people have confirmed that they will be attending and ten haven't replied yet.
  • The bank was expeditious in replying to my letter.

replynoun [ C or U ]

uk /rɪˈplaɪ/ us /rɪˈplaɪ/

B1 an answer:

I asked why, but he made/gave no reply.
There were very few replies to our advertisement.
In reply to their questions, she just shrugged.

More examples

  • I was a little disconcerted by his reply.
  • His reply to my question was somewhat ambiguous.
  • His reply dashed our hopes.
  • I'm afraid the reply was definitely in the negative.
  • He was shocked at the sheer venom of her reply.

(Definition of “reply” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

“reply” in American English

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us /rɪˈplɑɪ/

to answer a question:

[ I ] She asked him how old he was but he didn’t reply.
[ + that clause ] He replied that he wasn’t interested.

(Definition of “reply” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

“reply” in Business English

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uk /rɪˈplaɪ/ us replying, replied, replied

[ I or T ] to give a spoken or written answer:

'Your comments have been noted,' he replied.
reply to sb/sth He did not reply to a message left for him.
36 applicants replied to our advert.
reply that 55% of respondents replied that they are confident in their companies' leaders.

[ I ] to react to something that someone has done:

The voters replied by voting 80% in favour.
reply with sth After criticism for being slow to respond to changes in the market, the company replied with a major restructuring.

replynoun [ C ]

uk /rɪˈplaɪ/ us

a spoken or written answer:

get/have/receive a reply We had more than 100 replies.
a reply to sb/sth We received no reply to our query.
await a reply The letter, dated December 17, awaits a reply.
You will receive a written reply once your complaint has been looked into.
in reply (to sth)

as an answer or reaction to something:

He didn't really say anything in reply.
In reply to a question about piracy, he said that there was over 90% piracy of software.
in reply to formal

COMMUNICATIONS used to begin a formal letter that is answering another letter:

In reply to your letter of October 7th, I would like to offer you compensation of €100.

(Definition of “reply” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)