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I see 対応(たいおう) quite often, but I can't seem to grasp exactly what this word means or how to use it properly.

Checking a dictionary I get about 5 different definitions, all quite different from one another.

My question is, what does this word actually mean and what are the most common ways it is used? Are there any good example sentences which show the usage of this word clearly?

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In my opinion, the notion of 対応 that you will most likely run into in the wild is as follows:

showing a draft of a document for example

A: Hey, you forgot to add X thing to the document
B: すみませんでした、今すぐ対応します。

which means something like, "Sorry, I'll deal with it right away."

I'd think that for most of the times, 対応 is something you say when you want somebody to deal with a task.

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Another meaning is 'correspondence'. If each element in set A has some kind of relation with one or more element(s) in set B, then that relation can be considered a 対応 'correspondence'. 関数 'function' is a special case of correspondence. if each element in A has relation with exactly one element in B, then that relation is a function.

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You see this often with computer-related hardware or software. For example, if you are buying a USB memory stick, the outside of the packaging might say like Windows 7 対応 or Mac OSX 対応. – istrasci Aug 15 '11 at 14:32
@istrasci Right, under such a context, 対応 means "support". It might sound a bit odd that Japanese often say このデバイスはWindows7に対応しています "this device supports Windows 7" – nodakai Mar 19 at 18:07

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