I. noun Etymology: Middle English, from Old English andswaru (akin to Old Norse andsvar answer); akin to Old English and- against, swerian to swear — more at ante- Date: before 12th century 1. a. something spoken or written in reply to a question b. a correct response <
knows the answer
2. a reply to a legal charge or suit ; plea; also defense 3. something done in response or reaction <
his only answer was to walk out
4. a solution of a problem <
more money is not the answer
5. one that imitates, matches, or corresponds to another <
television's answer to the news magazines
Synonyms: answer, response, reply, rejoinder, retort mean something spoken, written, or done in return. answer implies the satisfying of a question, demand, call, or need <
had answers to all their questions
. response may imply a quick or spontaneous reaction to a person or thing that serves as a stimulus <
a response to the call for recruits
. reply often suggests a thorough response to all issues, points, or questions raised <
a point-by-point reply to the accusation
. rejoinder can be a response to a reply or to an objection <
a salesman with a quick rejoinder to every argument
. retort implies a reaction to an implicit or explicit charge, criticism, or attack which contains a countercharge or counterattack <
she made a cutting retort to her critics
. II. verb (answered; answering) Date: before 12th century intransitive verb 1. to speak or write in reply 2. a. to be or make oneself responsible or accountable <
answer for a debt
b. to make amends ; atone <
must answer for his crimes
3. to be in conformity or correspondence <
answered to the description
4. to act in response to an action performed elsewhere or by another <
the home team scored first but the visitors answered quickly
5. to be adequate ; serve <
an old bucket answered for a sink
transitive verb 1. a. to speak or write in reply to <
answer a question
answer me
b. to say or write by way of reply <
answer yes or no
2. to reply to in rebuttal, justification, or explanation <
answer an accusation
3. a. to correspond to <
answers the description
b. to be adequate or usable for ; fulfill <
answer a need
4. obsolete to atone for 5. to act in response to <
answered the call to arms
6. to offer a solution for; especially solve <
answer a riddle
answerer noun

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.


Look at other dictionaries:

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  • answer — an|swer1 W1S1 [ˈa:nsə US ˈænsər] n ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬ 1¦(reply)¦ 2¦(test/competition etc)¦ 3¦(invitation/letter etc)¦ 4¦(problem)¦ 5¦(on the phone)¦ 6¦(at the door)¦ 7 have/know all the answers 8 somebody s answer to something ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬ [: Old English; …   Dictionary of contemporary English

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