answer [an′sər, än′sər]
[ME andsware < OE andswaru < and-, against + swerian, SWEAR]
1. something said or written in return to a question, argument, letter, etc.
2. any act in response or retaliation [his answer was a well-aimed blow]
3. one that is a counterpart or equivalent of another, often as the result of imitation [Japan's answer to Sherlock Holmes]
4. a solution to a problem
5. Law a written pleading by which the defendant replies to the plaintiff's charges; defense
6. Music in a fugue, the second or fourth restatement of the subject in another voice and transposed to another key, usually at the interval of a fourth or fifth
1. to reply in words, by an action, etc.
2. to react to a stimulus; respond (to) [the horse answered to its rider's touch]
3. to serve the purpose; be sufficient
4. to be responsible or liable (to a person for an action, accusation, etc.)
5. to be in conformity; correspond (to) [he answers to the description]
a) to reply to in words, by an action, etc.
b) to say or write in reply
2. to respond to the signal of (a telephone, doorbell, etc.)
3. to fulfill satisfactorily; comply with; be sufficient for; serve [the makeshift tent answered their purpose]
4. to defend oneself against (an accusation, criticism, etc.); refute
5. to agree with; conform to; suit [he answers the description]
6. Obs. to atone for
answer back
Informal to reply forcefully, rudely, or impertinently; talk back
SYN.- ANSWER implies a saying, writing, or acting in return, as required by the situation or by courtesy [to answer a letter, the phone, etc. ]; RESPOND implies an appropriate reaction made voluntarily or spontaneously to that which serves as a stimulus [to respond to an appeal ]; REPLY in its strictest application refers to an answer that satisfies in detail the question asked; RETORT1 suggests a reply, esp. one that is sharp or witty, provoked by a charge or criticism; REJOIN2 implies an answer, originally to a reply, now often to an objection

English World dictionary. . 2014.


Look at other dictionaries:

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  • answer to — a person or thing regarded as the equivalent to a better known one from another place: → answer answer to be responsible or report to. → answer …   English new terms dictionary

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