Meaning of REACT in English


1. to react to something

2. to react to someone in the same way as they treat you

3. what someone says or does when they react to something

4. the ability to react quickly


see also




1. to react to something

▷ react /riˈækt/ [intransitive verb not in progressive]

to say or do something because of what another person has said or done, or because of something that has happened :

▪ How did your parents react when you told them you were going to marry Jim?

▪ It’s hard not to react badly when your kids are playing up.

react to

▪ People reacted to the speech in different ways.

▪ The chairman reacted angrily to the report and said it would make it much harder to reach a deal.

react against

▪ Emma is not behaving very reasonably nowadays. I think she’s reacting against her teachers’ strictness.

react by doing something

▪ A shot was fired, and the police reacted by firing into the crowd.

react with disappointment/laughter/violence etc

▪ When children perform poorly at school, parents often react with anger.

▪ Many gays reacted with outrage at the tactic of ‘outing’ senior public figures.

▷ respond /rɪˈspɒndǁrɪˈspɑːnd/ [intransitive verb]

to react to something that someone has said to you, or something that someone has done to you or for you :

▪ The more attention you pay him, the better he responds.

respond with

▪ Rob’s smile was irresistible, and she responded with a grin.

respond to

▪ The children responded well to the day’s activities.

▪ The theatre has been slow to respond to the challenges presented by progressive drama.

respond by doing something

▪ The demonstrators attacked and burned buildings and cars; the soldiers responded by opening fire.

▷ greet /griːt/ [transitive verb usually in passive]

to react to something with a particular attitude or with a particular action :

▪ The news has been greeted angrily within Egyptian government circles.

be greeted with something

▪ Donaldson’s remarks were greeted with cautious enthusiasm.

▪ The proposals were greeted with a mixture of skepticism and distrust.

▷ meet with /ˈmiːt wɪð/ [transitive phrasal verb]

to get a particular reaction, especially a negative one :

▪ The proposals met with fierce opposition from women’s groups and labour unions.

▪ Any attempts to impose a solution would be quite likely to meet with even more violence.

to be met with

▪ The US says any further attacks will be met with the full force of the US military.

▷ overreact /ˌəʊvəriˈækt/ [intransitive verb]

to react too strongly to something that has happened, especially by becoming extremely angry, worried, or afraid :

▪ Don’t you think you’re overreacting? I only said ‘hi’. It’s not as if we’re having an affair!

overreact to

▪ Some residents overreact to the problem of crime by just not going out at all.

▪ The state has dramatically overreacted to the use of soft drugs.

overreact with

▪ Overreacting with shock when a child uses a swear word is likely to make him use it again.

2. to react to someone in the same way as they treat you

▷ reciprocate /rɪˈsɪprəkeɪt/ [intransitive/transitive verb] formal

to react to someone’s feelings or actions towards you by showing the same feelings towards them, doing the same thing for them etc --use this especially when the feelings or actions are good :

▪ We asked them over for dinner, hoping they would reciprocate.

reciprocate feelings/an invitation etc

▪ Although Miss Warton did not reciprocate John’s feelings, she did nothing to discourage them.

▪ My classmates would ask me over, but I never felt I could reciprocate the invitation.

▷ back /bæk/ [adverb]

if you smile back, hit someone back etc, you smile at someone, hit them etc, after they have done the same thing to you :

▪ Carol yelled back, ‘If it’s so easy, you come and have a go!’

▪ If Jamie rings, tell him I’ll call him back.

▪ The man just sat there smiling back at me.

▷ give as good as you get /ˌgɪv əz ˌgʊd əz juː ˈget/ [verb phrase] informal

if someone who is being attacked or criticized gives as good as they get, they are just as violent or rude as the person who is attacking them :

▪ Don’t you worry about Tim. He may be small but he gives as good as he gets!

▪ It was a tough interview, but I thought the President gave as good as he got.

▪ At 87, Juran is still able to give as good as he gets.

3. what someone says or does when they react to something

▷ reaction /riˈækʃ ə n/ [countable noun]

what someone says or does when they react to something :

▪ My father was so surprised by this violent reaction that he fell silent.

reaction to/against

▪ Maria’s reaction to the birth of her sister was to demand more attention from her mother.

initial/first reaction

▪ I was stunned by the news, and my initial reaction was anger.

▪ Can you tell us about your first reactions to this news?

gut reaction

a strong reaction that you have, although you are not sure why

▪ I wanted to write something thoughtful, not just leap in with my gut reaction.

knee-jerk reaction

a reaction you have without thinking about it first

▪ Environmentalists have a knee-jerk reaction against any sort of development, however ‘green’ it might be.

▷ response /rɪˈspɒnsǁrɪˈspɑːns/ [countable noun]

your reaction to something that someone has said to you, done to you, or asked you for :

▪ The story has provoked a strong response from the Chinese.

▪ ‘You’ve persuaded me,’ she laughed, amazed at her own response.

response to

▪ Tina’s outburst was a delayed response to her husband’s behaviour the week before.

get a response

▪ We’ve tried to include Susan in our social activities, but we get no response.

in response to something

as a way of responding

▪ In response to local demand, we will be opening this store from nine till seven on Sundays.

▷ feedback /ˈfiːdbæk/ [uncountable noun]

advice, criticism, praise etc that you give to someone, telling them how well they are working :

▪ We are very encouraged by the feedback we’ve had from our shareholders.

give somebody feedback/give feedback (to somebody)

▪ Every Friday, Mr James would hand out the students’ essays and give them some feedback.

feedback on

▪ It is important to give employees regular feedback on their performance.

positive/negative feedback

▪ I’m lucky to work for an employer who gives positive feedback on my work.

feed back [verb not in progressive]

▪ Regular reports are fed back to senior managers.

▷ backlash /ˈbæklæʃ/ [countable noun usually singular]

an angry or violent reaction by a group of people to the actions or decisions of others :

backlash against

▪ Members of the Rifle and Pistol Club fear a public backlash against their sport after a recent armed raid in the village.

▪ The attacks have sparked a bitter backlash against the revolutionary forces.

backlash from

▪ a growing backlash from angry voters

▷ overreaction /ˌəʊvəriˈækʃ ə n/ [countable/uncountable noun]

when someone reacts much too strongly to something :

▪ I’m not arguing in favor of cannabis. I’m just saying we should be careful of overreaction.

▪ The appeal court judge described the sentence as a gross overreaction to the recent spate of bombing campaigns.

4. the ability to react quickly

▷ reactions /riˈækʃ ə nz/ [plural noun]

to be able to react quickly to moving objects, danger etc :

▪ Alcohol slows a driver’s reactions, making it harder to avoid an accident.

▪ He was a natural boxer, with a cold temper, fast reactions and a killer instinct.

▷ reflexes /ˈriːfleksɪz, ˈriːfleksəz/ [plural noun]

the natural ability to react quickly and well to dangers etc, without having to think about what you are doing :

▪ Bernice moved to slap him, but with lightning reflexes, he grasped her arm.

▪ City got only one goal, and owed everything to the extraordinarily quick reflexes of their goalkeeper.

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