Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • intransitive v. To give an answer in speech or writing.
  • intransitive v. To respond by an action or gesture.
  • intransitive v. To echo.
  • intransitive v. To return gunfire or an attack: The big guns replied.
  • intransitive v. Law To respond to a defendant's plea.
  • transitive v. To say or give as an answer: I replied that I was unable to help them. See Synonyms at answer.
  • n. A response in speech or writing.
  • n. A response by an action or gesture.
  • n. Law A plaintiff's formal response in answer to that of a defendant.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To give a written or spoken response, especially to a question, request, accusation or criticism; to answer.
  • v. To act or gesture in response.
  • v. To repeat something back; to echo.
  • n. A written or spoken response; part of a conversation.
  • n. Something given in reply.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • intransitive v. To make a return in words or writing; to respond; to answer.
  • intransitive v. To answer a defendant's plea.
  • intransitive v. Figuratively, to do something in return for something done
  • transitive v. To return for an answer.
  • n. That which is said, written, or done in answer to what is said, written, or done by another; an answer; a response.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To fold back.
  • To return for an answer.
  • To make answer; answer; respond.
  • To do or give something in return for something else; make return or response; answer by suitable action; meet an attack: as, to reply to the enemy's fire.
  • In law, to answer a defendant's plea.
  • n. An answer; a response.
  • n. The act or power of answering, especially with fitness or conclusiveness.
  • n. That which is done for or in consequence of something else; an answer by deeds; a counter-attack: as, his reply was a blow.
  • n. In music, the answer of a fugue.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. react verbally
  • n. a statement (either spoken or written) that is made to reply to a question or request or criticism or accusation
  • n. the speech act of continuing a conversational exchange

Etymologies

Middle English replien, from Old French replier, from Latin replicāre, to fold back; see replicate.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
The verb derives, via the Old French replier, from the Latin replicō ("I fold back"), from re + plicō ("I fold"); the noun derives from the verb by verbalisation. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The easiest way to reply to a tweet is to hit the @reply icon which broadcasts your answer to all your followers, essentially Twitter's equivalent of the "reply all" email function.

    How to Twitter

  • An @reply for facebook is rendered useless by the fact that you can already comment on status updates. reply

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  • When i receive an @reply, i never know what tweet the reply is referring to.

    Original Signal - Transmitting Digg

  • If you see your name on your feed, reply (using @reply) within 15 minutes to collect your pair.

    culture

  • When you @reply to someone's tweet, your reply is connected to their tweet (it's linked to it via the "in reply to" link).

    Original Signal - Transmitting Web 2.0

  • This will automatically fill in the @reply, which you can then follow with your reply message, and then hit the "tweet" button.

    Vail Daily - Top Stories

  • Google Buzz borrows the @reply convention from Twitter so that if you want to reply to someone or direct a comment to them you simply put the @ sign in front of their name.

    Google Blogoscoped

  • They DO reply to every @reply sent to them, every direct message thrown at them, and still somehow find the time to answer questions and offer help to those who don't ask them directly.

    Original Signal - Transmitting Buzz

  • When you receive a text message, you can simply reply to the message to leave a comment on the update - that's the @reply problem sorted.

    The Next Web

  • What I have said in reply is this: The matter of finding a satisfactory market for our foodstuffs is not the main point.

    Practical Imperialism

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