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.
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.
to solve:[~ + object (+ with + object)]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.
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.
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.
Music and Dancethe entrance of a fugue subject, usually on the dominant, either slightly altered or transposed exactly after each presentation in the tonic.
to speak or write in response; make answer; reply.
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, (of a vessel) to maneuver or remain steady according to the position of the rudder.
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.