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, especially in mathematics.
a reply to a charge or accusation.
Law. a pleading in which a party responds to his or her opponent's statement of position, especially the defendant's reply to the plaintiff's complaint.
Music. the entrance of a fugue subject, usually on the dominant, either slightly altered or transposed exactly after each presentation in the tonic.
verb (used with object)
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.
before 900; Middle English andswerien, Old English andswerian, andswarian
derivative of andswaru
an answer, equivalent to and-
opposite, facing (cf. and
) + Germanic *swarō,
derivative of swear
answerer, nounanswerless, adjectiveunanswered, adjectiveunanswering, adjectivewell-answered, adjective
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.
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.
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.
implies a keen, prompt answer, especially one that turns a remark upon the person who made it: a sharp retort. 6.