February 16, 2017
respond (verb)
\rih-SPAHND\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
1 : to say something in return : make an answer2 a : to react in response b : to have a favorable reaction
How do you use it?
The insurance form asked for information such as date of birth, names of spouse and children, and place of employment.
Are you a word wiz?

Which of the words in the sentence above do you think stems from the same root as "respond"?

We promise that "respond" and "spouse" are part of the same family of words. This family descends from the Latin root "spondere," meaning "to promise." Latin speakers used "spondere" to form "respondere," meaning "to promise in return" and "to answer." "Respondere" was borrowed into Anglo-French as "respundre" which made its way into English to form "respond." "Spouse" also entered English though Anglo-French and we can trace it back to the Latin "sponsus," a form of "respondere" meaning "betrothed man, groom." In addition to "respond" and "spouse, other members of the "spondere" family include "sponsor" and "despondent."
Archive RSS Feed