I would like to have an antonym of to request. A computer process requests a resource and when the resource is assigned to the process, the process does not request the resource anymore, since it is assigned. So I need a word to express this undo mechanism. Any ideas?

  • 1
    I don't understand the context. Sounds more like a computer process than something a person might do. If it was a real person and a real thing being requested, the opposite would be that he'd offer to give back whatever he originally asked for and got. Commented Jul 7, 2011 at 21:03
  • Indeed this is about resource allocation to processes. I change it. Commented Jul 7, 2011 at 21:05
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    platzhirsch, you are still not precise enough: you might be referring to a state (requested, fulfilled, allocated, etc..) or to an action: a) canceling of the request itself b) canceling of the effects of the request. situation is further complicated because the allocation and release of resources can be handled in different ways (conceptually and hence completely different words might be appropriate for different concepts and context). please clarify, verbosely, what you want to refer to (I suggest a state diagram showing your transitions and states).
    – Unreason
    Commented Jul 14, 2011 at 12:50

8 Answers 8


When it comes to computer processes, there are several possibilities:

  • request a resource

    This would be the system "allocating" a resource. The opposite would be to request deallocation. The opposite, from the perspective of the system would be to deallocate

  • request a lock

    This is similar to requesting a resource, but has it's own terminology. This is "requesting a lock" whereas it's reversal would be canceling the request (if it's not been fulfilled yet) or releasing the lock if the process already has the lock.

  • request data

    This would be a process requesting data from another process or the system. This would be "requesting a response". The opposite would be cancelling the request, or receiving the request, or (from the perspective of the requestee) responding to the request, or simply responding

  • requesting an event

    This would be a process requesting another process to do something. This would be "requesting an event" or "requesting a service". The opposite would be canceling the request, or requesting the cancellation of the event, possibly even requesting a cancellation event. From the perspective of the requestee, it would be a cancellation event or maybe a cancel request. The result might be a cancel response (for disjointed processes).

Ultimately, it really depends on the situation and the type of request being made. It also depends on the stage of the process that the request is in. (e.g. Was the request just made? Is the request made and accepted? Was the request processed?) This, unfortunately, requires much more information than you have provided.


It's simply

cancel the request

Very straightforward. You can see any number of examples of this by googling something like "apple documentation cancel the request".

I dug up an almost exact example of what you mean:

Don't forget to cancel your Bonjour resolve!

Q: After I Resolve a Bonjour service in order to get its IP addresses, do I need to cancel the Resolve operation?

A: Yes! Leaving the Resolve operation running places an unnecessary burden on the network because you end up sending query packets.... You should only Resolve the service at the moment you need to connect to it, and you should cancel the Resolve immediately after successfully connecting to the service. ... The process by which you cancel the Resolve operation(s) depends on the method you are using ....

For what it's worth, if anyone needs any more examples, you can see zillions of examples of the usage on this page (this happens to be the main internet-access library used on iPhones).

  • 1
    Probably should have read your own links: "Note that when you cancel a request, the request will treat that as an error, and will call your delegate and/or queue’s failure delegate method. " Commented Jul 8, 2011 at 13:15
  • The request isn't being canceled though; it's not negated, it's just completed.
    – Kit Z. Fox
    Commented Jul 14, 2011 at 12:06

There are several antonyms depending on the context.

Antonym of the v. to request

  • to retract, to revoke: request|retract the question
  • to provide, to give: request|provide the money
  • to cancel the request

In your particular case of "does not request it anymore, since it received the resource already" there might be a problem. Are you trying to describe the state, or the action? If it is really the action do you need an action opposite of the actual request or an action that will cancel the effects of a request (reverse the acquisition of resources)?

The following paragraph tries to put to use some of the suggestions, so multiple meanings are intended:

I assume that you do not want to retract, revoke or cancel your question or request, but if a useful answer to your request was provided or given you might be: satisfied or fulfilled. In another words you might be holding the resource you requested.

In case you actually need a verb that describes what happens next you might consider to release (the resources held).


Even in regards to computer resources, it depends on context.

Local system resources (port addresses, memory allocation etc) would be handled pretty much instantaneously. Therefore the concept of 'cancelling a request' is meaningless... the REQUEST has been fulfilled (ie: it is no longer a request) and the resource allocated. If you no longer need the resource and wish to return it's control to the system you took it from, you simply RELEASE the resource.

In a remote system (ie: request a web-page from a server), you send a request to cancel delivery of the content. Strictly speaking, a web page is in fact more then one request. Each element (picture, java applet, text, etc) is a request in its own right. Therefore, on receiving a cancellation request, the server will simply ignore any further requests. They will be DELETED FROM THE REQUEST QUEUE, FLUSHED or DROPPED.

There is a caveat though. Elements already in transit will continue to be sent until completed. Most browsers however, will immediately respond to a user cancelling a page by simply not rendering these items. They will simply DROP or IGNORE them.

In short, locally you would RELEASE a request, an upload request will be FLUSHED from the request queue, a download would be IGNORED but still complete. There are some exceptions with some server software and download managers, but even then, consider torrent software where it still completes downloading of currently active blocks after you stop the download. Each block being a separate request.


The antonym of the noun request would be response.

As for the verb request, there is not really a true antonym that works in all contexts. I feel assign would be an appropriate choice in this instance.


He stopped requesting, or he declined?

If he doesn't want the thing anymore, he would decline the resource.


If he stopped requesting, then the word could be:

surcease : to cease from some action;

  • I guess stopped requesting is the expression I am looking for. Declined would imply, that the person does not want the resource anymore. But it is meant this way: the person does not request it anymore, since it received the resource already. Commented Jul 7, 2011 at 21:00
  • Or if the thing assigned were, for example, authority to do something, the issuing authority might revoke or rescind that authorisation. Depends which side you see it from. Commented Jul 7, 2011 at 21:05

"Withdraw", "retract", or a synonym of those would probably be understandable enough (e.g. "WithdrawRequest"/"RetractRequest").


I would say, "the request is fulfilled."

  • Since OP has now confirmed it is in respect of a computer process, I think this is probably what he needs. Commented Jul 7, 2011 at 21:07
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    This is wrong. The OP is saying that after the request is fulfilled, apparently (in this particular example) the requestor is going to decide to stop requesting the resource (i.e., the requestor has had enough of the resource, apparently). The OP is asking, what is the word for that decision or process of "stopping a request" after the request has been filled. The answer, I suppose, is very simply cancelled. "Don't forget to cancel your request if you no longer need the resource."
    – Fattie
    Commented Jul 7, 2011 at 21:30
  • 2
    In the context of this question, cancelled is probably the right choice but your assertion that a request needs to be cancelled (in the context of software programming) is a good example of why there are so many developers writing code no one else would want to read or work on. If your request object moves into a "cancelled" state after having received an appropriate response, rather than a "fulfilled" or "satisfied" or "allocated" state, you're doing it wrong. Commented Jul 8, 2011 at 13:06

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