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WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2016
an•swer /ˈænsɚ/USA pronunciation   n. 
  1. a spoken or written reply or response to a question, request, letter, etc.:My answer was "yes''.
  2. a correct response to a question:When was the Declaration of Independence signed? The answer is 1776.
  3. counterpart:the French answer to the Beatles.
  4. an action that serves as a reply or response:Her answer to my proposal was a shrug of the shoulders.
  5. a solution to a problem:never claimed to have all the answers.
  6. in answer (to), by way of responding or replying:I offer these arguments in answer to your criticism.

  1. to speak or write in response (to);
    make answer (to);
    reply (to): [no object]She answered quietly.[~ + object]The nominee answered the questions with humor.
  2. to respond by an act or motion: [no object]When the phone rang, she was afraid to answer.[~ + object]They answered the doorbell.[~ + with + object]He answered with a laugh.[~ + object + with + object]They answered the attack with a full-scale assault of their own.
  3. [not: be + ~-ing] to conform;correspond (to): [~ + to + object]She answered to the description.[~ + object]The suspect answers the police description.
  4. to solve:[~ + object (+ with + object)]answered the unemployment crisis with prompt actions.
  5. answer back, to reply impolitely or rudely (to): [no object]Don't answer back.[~ + object + back]Don't answer your teacher back like that.
  6. answer for, [+ for + object]
    • to act or suffer in consequence:He must answer for his criminal acts.
    • to be or to declare oneself responsible or accountable:to answer for the President's safety.

WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2016
an•swer  (ansər, än-),USA pronunciation n. 
  1. a spoken or written reply or response to a question, request, letter, etc.:He sent an answer to my letter promptly.
  2. a correct response to a question asked to test one's knowledge.
  3. an equivalent or approximation:a singing group that tried to be the French answer to the Beatles.
  4. an action serving as a reply or response:The answer was a volley of fire.
  5. a solution to a problem, esp. in mathematics.
  6. a reply to a charge or accusation.
  7. Lawmakinga pleading in which a party responds to his or her opponent's statement of position, esp. the defendant's reply to the plaintiff 's complaint.
  8. Music and Dancethe entrance of a fugue subject, usually on the dominant, either slightly altered or transposed exactly after each presentation in the tonic.

  1. to speak or write in response;
    make answer;
  2. to respond by an act or motion:He answered with a nod. The champion answered with a right to the jaw.
  3. to act or suffer in consequence of (usually fol. by for).
  4. to be or declare oneself responsible or accountable (usually fol. by for):I will answer for his safety.
  5. to be satisfactory or serve (usually fol. by for):His cane answered for a baseball bat.
  6. to conform;
    correspond (usually fol. by to):The prisoner answered to the description issued by the police.

  1. to speak or write in response to;
    reply to:to answer a person; to answer a question.
  2. to act or move in response to:Answer the doorbell. We answered their goal with two quick goals of our own.
  3. to solve or present a solution of.
  4. to serve or fulfill:This will answer the purpose.
  5. to discharge (a responsibility, claim, debt, etc.).
  6. to conform or correspond to;
    be similar or equivalent to:This dog answers your description.
  7. to atone for;
    make amends for.
  8. to reply or respond favorably to:I would like to answer your request but am unable to do so.
  9. answer back, to reply impertinently or rudely:Well-behaved children do not answer back when scolded.
  10. Nautical, Naval Termsanswer the helm, (of a vessel) to maneuver or remain steady according to the position of the rudder.
answer•er, n. 
answer•less, adj. 
  • Middle English andswerien, Old English andswerian, andswarian derivative of andswaru an answer, equivalent. to and- opposite, facing (compare and, along) + Gmc *swarō, derivative of swear bef. 900
    • 1.See corresponding entry in Unabridged riposte.
      Answer, rejoinder, reply, response, retort all mean words used to meet a question, remark, charge, etc. An
      answer is a return remark:an answer giving the desired information.A
      rejoinder is a quick, usually clever answer or remark made in reply to another's comment, not to a question.
      Reply usually refers to a direct or point-by-point response to a suggestion, proposal, question, or the like:a reply to a letter.A
      response often suggests an answer to an appeal, exhortation, etc., or an expected or fixed reply:a response to inquiry; a response in a church service.A
      retort implies a keen, prompt answer, esp. one that turns a remark upon the person who made it:a sharp retort.
    • 6.See corresponding entry in Unabridged defense, plea.

Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::

answer /ˈɑːnsə/ n
  1. a reply, either spoken or written, as to a question, request, letter, or article
  2. a reaction or response in the form of an action: drunkenness was his answer to disappointment
  3. a solution, esp of a mathematical problem
  1. (when tr, may take a clause as object) to reply or respond (to) by word or act: to answer a question, he answered, to answer the door, he answered that he would come
  2. (transitive) to reply correctly to; solve or attempt to solve: I could answer only three questions
  3. (intransitive) usually followed by to: to respond or react (to a stimulus, command, etc): the steering answers to the slightest touch
  4. (when intr, often followed by )for: to meet the requirements (of); be satisfactory (for); serve the purpose (of): this will answer his needs, this will answer for a chisel
  5. (when intr, often followed by )to: to match or correspond (esp in the phrase answer (or answer to) the description)
  6. (transitive) to give a defence or refutation of (a charge) or in (an argument)
Etymology: Old English andswaru an answer; related to Old Frisian ondser, Old Norse andsvar; see swear

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