Acronym from the French 'Respondez s'il vous plait'. A formal invitation to a function or other social gathering, requiring a written reply. The RSVP has become a matter of presentation, using special cards or other devices to accentuate the importance of the matter to the recipient. In common spoken usage the meaning has various social implications and can be literal, sarcastic, or ironic depending on context.
Examples of RSVP:
|Literal: Invitation to the wedding of.... RSVP|
Sarcastic: The restaurant dishes need washing, do RSVP me when you're available
Ironic: The artillery barrage was like an RSVP to the troops in the trenches