Whenever you say something in response to someone, you reply. If your teacher asks why you're late to school, you might reply, "Sorry, I missed the bus."

To answer back or respond is to reply, and whatever you say is also a reply. Your reply could be a long quotation from a Shakespeare soliloquy, or it might be a simple, silent nod of the head. You can also reply using a letter, a text, or an email. Reply comes from the Late Latin replicare, which means both "to reply or repeat," but also "to fold back."

Definitions of reply
  1. verb
    react verbally
    synonyms: answer, respond
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    call back
    return or repeat a telephone call
    speak in response
    answer adequately or successfully
    answer back in an impudent or insolent manner
    come back, rejoin, repay, retort, return, riposte
    answer back
    respond to the reins, as of horses
    type of:
    say, state, tell
    express in words
  2. noun
    a statement (either spoken or written) that is made to reply to a question or request or criticism or accusation
    “he wrote replies to several of his critics”
    synonyms: answer, response
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    a reply by a Pope to an inquiry concerning a point of law or morality
    response to an inquiry or experiment
    type of:
    a message that is stated or declared; a communication (oral or written) setting forth particulars or facts etc
  3. noun
    the speech act of continuing a conversational exchange
    “he growled his reply
    synonyms: response
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    a vigorous and unrestrained response
    non sequitur
    a reply that has no relevance to what preceded it
    comeback, counter, rejoinder, replication, retort, return, riposte
    a quick reply to a question or remark (especially a witty or critical one)
    a reply that repeats what has just been said
    the speech act of replying to a question
    back talk, backtalk, lip, mouth, sass, sassing
    an impudent or insolent rejoinder
    an infant's repetition of sounds uttered by others
    Urim and Thummim
    lots thrown to determine God's answers to yes-no questions
    defence, defense, refutation
    the speech act of answering an attack on your assertions
    type of:
    speech act
    the use of language to perform some act
Word Family
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