WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2015
an•swer /ˈænsɚ/USA pronunciation
n. WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2015
to speak or write in response (to); make answer (to);
- a spoken or written reply or response to a question, request, letter, etc.:My answer was "yes''.
- a correct response to a question:When was the Declaration of Independence signed? The answer is 1776.
- counterpart:the French answer to the Beatles.
- an action that serves as a reply or response:Her answer to my proposal was a shrug of the shoulders.
- a solution to a problem:never claimed to have all the answers.
- in answer (to), by way of responding or replying:I offer these arguments in answer to your criticism.
reply (to): [no object]She answered quietly.[~ + object]The nominee answered the questions with humor.
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.
[not: be + ~-ing] to conform; correspond (to): [~ + to + object]She answered to the description.[~ + object]The suspect answers the police description.
[~ + object (+ with + object)] to solve:answered the unemployment crisis with prompt actions.
answer back, to reply impolitely or rudely (to): [no object]Don't answer back.[~ + object + back]Don't answer your teacher back like that.
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.
(an′sər, än′-), n.
to speak or write in response; make answer;
- a spoken or written reply or response to a question, request, letter, etc.:He sent an answer to my letter promptly.
- a correct response to a question asked to test one's knowledge.
- an equivalent or approximation:a singing group that tried to be the French answer to the Beatles.
- an action serving as a reply or response:The answer was a volley of fire.
- a solution to a problem, esp. in mathematics.
- a reply to a charge or accusation.
- Lawmaking[Law.]a 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.
- Music and Dance[Music.]the entrance of a fugue subject, usually on the dominant, either slightly altered or transposed exactly after each presentation in the tonic.
to respond by an act or motion:He answered with a nod. The champion answered with a right to the jaw.
to act or suffer in consequence of (usually fol. by for).
to be or declare oneself responsible or accountable (usually fol. by for):I will answer for his safety.
to be satisfactory or serve (usually fol. by for):His cane answered for a baseball bat.
to conform; correspond (usually fol. by to):The prisoner answered to the description issued by the police.
to speak or write in response to;
reply to:to answer a person; to answer a question.
to act or move in response to:Answer the doorbell. We answered their goal with two quick goals of our own.
to solve or present a solution of.
to serve or fulfill:This will answer the purpose.
to discharge (a responsibility, claim, debt, etc.).
to conform or correspond to; be similar or equivalent to:This dog answers your description.
to atone for;
make amends for.
to reply or respond favorably to:I would like to answer your request but am unable to do so.
answer back, to reply impertinently or rudely:Well-behaved children do not answer back when scolded.
Nautical, Naval Termsanswer the helm, [Naut.](of a vessel) to maneuver or remain steady according to the position of the rudder.
1 . 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 . defense, plea.
- 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
Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::
answer /ˈɑːnsə/ n
- a reply, either spoken or written, as to a question, request, letter, or article
- a reaction or response in the form of an action: drunkenness was his answer to disappointment
- a solution, esp of a mathematical problem
Etymology: Old English andswaru an answer; related to Old Frisian ondser, Old Norse andsvar; see swear
- (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
- (transitive) to reply correctly to; solve or attempt to solve: I could answer only three questions
- (intransitive) usually followed by to: to respond or react (to a stimulus, command, etc): the steering answers to the slightest touch
- (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
- (when intr, often followed by )to: to match or correspond (esp in the phrase answer (or answer to) the description)
- (transitive) to give a defence or refutation of (a charge) or in (an argument)
'answer' also found in these entries: