The Meaning of RFP: What It Is and How To Use It

What is an RFP or a request for proposal? This article covers the meaning of a request for proposal as well as the other meanings of RFP.

Your writing, at its best

Compose bold, clear, mistake-free, writing with Grammarly's AI-powered writing assistant

If you’re starting a government project, you might be asked for an RFP. No, not a “Rocky Flats Plant” — a request for proposal! If you need to know what an RFP is ASAP, you’ve come to the right place. Read on to learn what RFP stands for in government and business contexts, as well as other meanings you might hear when you’re out in the world.

What Does RFP Stand For?

According to Investopedia, RFP stands for request for proposal, which is a type of business document that announces, describes, and solicits bids for a project. Government agencies often use RFPs, and many companies prefer to use this type of document to launch a project. 

In an RFP, a company might list potential vendors or people with given expertise that they might hire. It can also include a timeline and deadline for finishing the work, an outline of deliverables and evaluation criteria, a procurement process, potential suppliers, key stakeholders, contact information, answers to a list of questions potential bidders might ask, and other specific requirements. 

The RFP process is a valuable asset when seeking a competitive bid from several contractors. A good RFP is invaluable in negotiations and can ensure that you are paying the best price for your final offer. Studying RFP templates can help you learn what this document should look like.

A comprehensive RFP will make it easy for the contractors to understand the milestones and scope of work that the winning bidder would be required to complete in the timeline. Having specific guidelines for a prospective bidder or interested party is key to help them understand of the new project or system. These guidelines detail the buyer’s needs — often using spreadsheets or a database — and ensure that qualified vendors understand the quantity of real-time work needed on a specific product.

You can use RFP software to make a final RFP share with potential bidders. These can make your questionnaire and other parts of the RFT. Other similar terms to RFT are an RFs, which stands for request for a solution, and an RFT, which stands for a request to tender. These are slightly different but are used in the business field for different types of requests; you must determine which one best suits your needs. 

What Are Synonyms of RFP?

RFP is a specific term within government agencies and the business world. This term refers to a specific document that does not have any synonymous terms. 

However, if you are looking for a term similar to the word request, Power Thesaurus has got you covered with this list of synonyms. If you’re looking for a different word that means request, try one of these synonyms!

  • appeal
  • application
  • asking
  • assertion
  • behest
  • bid
  • bidding
  • billing
  • call
  • claim
  • claimant
  • command
  • demand
  • desire
  • entreaty
  • inquiry
  • insistence
  • invitation
  • invite
  • need
  • notice
  • notification
  • offer
  • order
  • petition
  • plea
  • postulation
  • prayer
  • problem
  • proposal
  • query
  • question
  • recourse
  • requirement
  • requisition
  • solicitation
  • submission
  • suggestion
  • suit
  • summons
  • supplication
  • urge
  • want
  • wise

What Are Antonyms of RFP?

When referring to something opposite of a request, this list of antonyms can be very useful. Power Thesaurus lists numerous terms like denial or refusal that are the opposite of a request. Try using one of these antonyms the next time you are looking for a word that is the opposite of the word request:

  • abandonment
  • abdication
  • abjuration
  • abnegation
  • confutation
  • contradiction
  • declination
  • defense
  • demurrer
  • denial
  • denied
  • denying
  • deprivation
  • disaffirmation
  • disallowance
  • disapproval
  • disavowal
  • disclaimer
  • dismissal
  • dissent
  • interdiction
  • nay
  • negation
  • negative
  • no
  • nonacceptance
  • opposition
  • prohibition
  • rebuff
  • rebuttal
  • recantation
  • refusal
  • refuse
  • refusing
  • refutation
  • reject
  • rejected
  • rejecting
  • rejection
  • renouncement
  • renunciation
  • repudiation
  • retraction
  • revocation
  • self-abnegation
  • self-denial
  • turndown
  • veto
  • withdrawal
  • withholding

What Are Other Meanings of RFP? 

According to The Free Dictionary, RFP has many potential meanings in fields outside of business. Since the letters R, F, and P can be at the beginning of several different words in the English language, it makes sense that RFP stands for more than one phrase or group of words. 

If the term request for proposal doesn’t make sense when someone says RFP, they might be using RFP to mean one of the below terms:

  • Replication Fork Pausing Site
  •  Reseau Financier Proteck
  •  Reverse Frame Prediction
  •  Régie Française de Publicité (French: French Advertising Board)
  •  Request for Packaging
  •  Request For Procurement
  •  Rules for Participation (various organizations)
  •  Rapid Fail Protection
  •  Reasonable Further Programs
  •  Ret Finger Protein
  •  Registered Financial Planner
  •  Radio Fixed Part
  •  Removed From Project
  •  Reasonable Further Progress
  •  Research Frontiers Programme (Ireland)
  •  Riviera Financial Planning (France)
  •  Radio Frequency Probe
  •  Respect for People (various organizations)
  •  Request for Production (legal documents)
  •  Radar Fix Point
  •  Roseburg Forest Products (various locations)
  •  Renal Function Panel
  •  Radio Frequency Plasma
  •  Ready for Production
  •  Removable Front Panel
  •  Request for Printing
  •  Radio Finger Printing
  •  Request For Proposal
  •  Religious Freedom Project
  •  Ready for Pull
  •  Request For Prosecution
  •  Ring-Focused Paraboloid
  •  Request For Payment (Invoice)
  •  Reproductive Freedom Project (various organizations)
  •  Rifampicin
  •  Reverse Flow Pivot
  •  Riparian Fencing Project
  •  Ready For Procurement
  •  Rally of the French People (politics)
  •  Requirements for Purchase
  •  Request For Papers
  •  Residential Faculty Policies (Maricopa County, AZ community college system)
  •  Rate Feasibility Problem
  •  Rocky Flats Plant
  •  Report for Planning
  •  Response Forces Pool (NATO)
  •  Ringing Fuse Panel (telecommunications)
  •  Request For Price/Product
  •  Radar Data Front Processing
  •  Radios Francophones Publiques (French public radio station)
  •  Rain Forest Puppy (hacker)
  •  Reversed-Field Pinch
  •  Request for Purchase


To recap, RFP stands for request for proposal, which is a document businesses and government agencies use to explain a project and court bids from contractors. An RFP is usually extremely detailed and outlines everything that a potential buyer would need to know before bidding on a project. 

RFPs contain information like project descriptions, an organizational overview, a potential timeline, and the goals and specifications of the project, along with a question and answer section for bidders.


  1. RFP Meanings | The Free Dictionary
  2. 366 Noun Synonyms for Request | Power Thesaurus 
  3. Antonyms of Request | Power Thesaurus  
  4. Request for Proposal (RFP) Definition | Investopedia