Definitions

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

  • n. A chant or anthem recited or sung after a reading in a church service.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A chant or anthem recited after a reading in a church service

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Containing or making answer; answering.
  • n.
  • n. The answer of the people to the priest in alternate speaking, in church service.
  • n. A versicle sung in answer to the priest, or as a refrain.
  • n. An antiphonary; a response book.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Containing answer.
  • n. In liturgics: A psalm or portion of a psalm sung between the missal lections.
  • n. A portion of a psalm (originally, a whole psalm) sung between the lections at the canonical hours; a respond. Also responsorium.

Etymologies

Middle English responsorie, from Late Latin respōnsōrium, from Latin respōnsus, past participle of respondēre, to respond; see respond.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

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