WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2015
an•swer /ˈænsɚ/USA pronunciation n. [countable] 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.
v.  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.
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.

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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