answer

noun
an·​swer | \ ˈan(t)-sər How to pronounce answer (audio) \

Definition of answer

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : something spoken or written in reply to a question His answer surprised us.
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 The show is television's answer to the newsmagazines.

answer

verb
answered; answering\ ˈan(t)s-​riŋ How to pronounce answer (audio) , ˈan(t)-​sə-​ \

Definition of answer (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to speak or write in reply think carefully before answering
2a : to be or make oneself responsible or accountable answer for a debt
b : to make amends : atone He must answer for his crimes.
3 : to be in conformity or correspondence She 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 The school had to answer for a town hall.

transitive verb

1a : 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
3a : to correspond to answers the description
b : to be adequate or usable for : fulfill answer a need
4 : to act in response to answered the call to arms
5 : to offer a solution for especially : solve answer a riddle
6 obsolete : to atone for

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Other Words from answer

Verb

answerer \ ˈan(t)-​sər-​ər How to pronounce answer (audio) \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for answer

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Verb

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Choose the Right Synonym for answer

Noun

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

Examples of answer in a Sentence

Noun I asked him a simple question and he gave me a long and confusing answer. I didn't believe her answer. They wouldn't give me a straight answer to my question. I didn't know the right answer. That is the wrong answer. Do you know the answer to this question? He knew the answers to only 3 of the 10 questions. The answers are listed in the back of the book. Verb She answered all my questions. He answered only three of the test questions correctly. When the police asked him his name, he refused to answer. When I ask you a question I expect you to answer me! Answer me this: where have you put my money? I sent her a letter asking for her help, but she never answered. The phone rang repeatedly, but no one answered. Would somebody please answer the phone? I knocked on the door but no one answered. No one answered the door.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The answer, much like the coming out experience itself, is more nuanced than waving a rainbow Pride flag. Alex Connor, USA TODAY, 31 May 2021 The obvious, depressing answer is that Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health will be argued in the term that begins in October, with Amy Coney Barrett seated in place of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died last September. Amy Davidson Sorkin, The New Yorker, 30 May 2021 There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to whether memory foam or spring mattresses are better. Korin Miller, Forbes, 29 May 2021 Again, the answer to this varies from driver to driver and team to team. Jim Ayello, The Indianapolis Star, 28 May 2021 The answer: the Senate filibuster, an outdated rule that was never intended to require a 60-vote majority and has a long history of use by segregationists to protect Jim Crow and kill voting and civil rights bills. Eli Zupnick, CNN, 28 May 2021 So the answer to soaring crime rates, Michigan Avenue stores being boarded up, the schools being run by the teachers union and a nearly dead downtown is better messaging by reporters of color. WSJ, 27 May 2021 The answer – much like the coming out experience itself – is more nuanced than waving a rainbow Pride flag and riding off into the sunset on a unicorn parade float. David Oliver, USA Today, 27 May 2021 Thomas Jefferson is generally credited as its author, but Akhil Reed Amar believes there’s a better answer. Barbara Spindel, The Christian Science Monitor, 26 May 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb To answer them, IndyStar spoke with Gabe Filippelli, the new director of Indiana University's Environmental Resilience Institute. London Gibson, The Indianapolis Star, 2 June 2021 When ringing phones were attached permanently to the wall, most people would walk, even run over, to answer them. Jeryl Brunner, Forbes, 29 May 2021 Some tenants mistakenly thought they were automatically protected and didn’t have to answer a summons from the court. Caroline Glenn, orlandosentinel.com, 13 May 2021 That way, blame is spread across a group, and no one person has to answer the angry phone calls. Arkansas Online, 8 May 2021 Covid-19 eviction moratorium raises a question: Will the government ever have to answer for acting unlawfully? The Editorial Board, WSJ, 6 May 2021 Medical experts have, so far, been unable to answer that question, though records obtained in a joint Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, state and county health investigation show a potential link to a nearby mink farm. Detroit Free Press, 29 Apr. 2021 What’s also funny is that White now has to answer questions about Paul at big events. Andy Nesbitt, USA TODAY, 26 Apr. 2021 And since one of the questions on the document is whether the would-be buyer uses drugs that are illicit under federal law, cannabis patients have to answer yes — or lie and commit a crime. Bethany Rodgers, The Salt Lake Tribune, 26 Apr. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'answer.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of answer

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

History and Etymology for answer

Noun and Verb

Middle English, from Old English andswaru (akin to Old Norse andsvar answer); akin to Old English and- against, swerian to swear — more at ante-

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Time Traveler for answer

Time Traveler

The first known use of answer was before the 12th century

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Statistics for answer

Last Updated

5 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Answer.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/answer. Accessed 12 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for answer

answer

noun

English Language Learners Definition of answer

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: something you say or write when someone asks you a question
: a response to a question that is meant to show whether or not you know something (such as a question asked as part of an exam)
: the correct response to a question

answer

verb

English Language Learners Definition of answer (Entry 2 of 2)

: to say or write something when someone asks you a question : to give an answer to (a question)
: to say or write (something) as a reply
: to reply to (someone) : to say or write something as a response to (someone)

answer

noun
an·​swer | \ ˈan-sər How to pronounce answer (audio) \

Kids Definition of answer

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : something said or written in reply (as to a question)
2 : a solution of a problem Money is not the answer to improving this situation.

answer

verb
answered; answering

Kids Definition of answer (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to speak or write in order to satisfy a question
2 : to write a response to a letter or email
3 : to pick up (a ringing telephone)
4 : to open (a door) when someone knocks on it
5 : to react to something with an action answer a job posting
6 : to take responsibility The camp director answered for the children's safety.
answer back
: to reply rudely

answer

noun
an·​swer

Legal Definition of answer

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the defendant's written response to the plaintiff's complaint in a civil suit in which he or she may deny any of the plaintiff's allegations, offer any defenses, and make any counterclaims against the plaintiff, cross-claims against other defendants, or third-party claims against third parties otherwise not involved in the lawsuit
2 : a written response to a counterclaim, cross-claim, or third-party claim : reply — see also responsive pleading at pleading sense 1

Note: In federal cases, answers are governed by Rule 12 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Under Rule 12, certain defenses (as lack of jurisdiction) may be made by motion rather than included in the answer.

Legal Definition of answer (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to serve or file an answer
2 : to make oneself responsible or accountable (as for the debt of another)

transitive verb

1 : to reply to in an answer answer the complaint
2 : to make a defense against (as a charge or accusation)

Other Words from answer

answerable adjective

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