answer for

Idioms & Phrases

answer for

  1. Take responsibility for, take charge of, as in The new alarm system has to answer for the security of the grounds. [Late 1200s]

  2. Take the blame for, as in The kids who were caught shoplifting have a lot to answer for. [c. 1200]

  3. To vouch for or sponsor someone, as in I'll answer for John as a reliable employee. [Early 1700s]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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