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 answering (audio) , ˈan(t)-​sə-​ \

Definition of answer (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to speak or write in reply neglected to answer the letter
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 answerer (audio) \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for answer

Synonyms: Noun

comeback, rejoinder, replication, reply, response, retort, return

Synonyms: Verb

come back, rejoin, reply, respond, retort, return, riposte

Antonyms: Noun

inquiry, query, question

Antonyms: Verb

ask, inquire, question

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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

Russo ultimately denied the woman's request for a restraining order, according to The Washington Post, adding that her answers to his revictimizing questions played into his decision making. Natasha Reda, Glamour, "Judge Faces Suspension for Reportedly Asking Woman in Sexual Assault Case Whether She ‘Closed Her Legs’," 7 Apr. 2019 Their answers point toward some of the most sweeping changes to the nation’s railroad system in decades. Paul Ziobro, WSJ, "A Revolution Sweeping Railroads Upends How America Moves Its Stuff," 3 Apr. 2019 Microsoft’s notice now leads to a support page and FAQ where Microsoft posted the answers to the questions consumers want to know: namely, what will happen to my books? Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Microsoft has closed its e-bookstore, and everything you purchased will vanish in July," 2 Apr. 2019 And my answer for you is: an adorable rope ottoman to spice up your outdoor space for the warm months ahead. Taylor Mead, House Beautiful, "This Tire Upcycle Is...Actually Chic," 27 Mar. 2019 Oh, and there was one vote (which was also our fave answer) for Channing Tatum. Allie Gemmill, Teen Vogue, "David Dobrik Found Out Fans Think His Doppelgängers Are Lukas Graham and John Krasinski," 25 Mar. 2019 And the effectiveness of their metacognition could be evaluated using the accuracy of their answers. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Political radicals don’t evaluate their own errors—about anything," 21 Dec. 2018 There are a lot of complex questions without a lot of easy answers. Rachel Epstein, Marie Claire, "Anissa Gray's 'The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls' Is #ReadWithMC's March Pick," 25 Feb. 2019 But the Amazon employee assigned to PopSockets looked into the situation and came back with the same answer: PopSockets’ relationship with iServe is not allowed. Jason Del Rey, Recode, "An Amazon revolt could be brewing as the tech giant exerts more control over brands," 29 Nov. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Those who had firsthand experience with the topic (39 percent) were asked to answer from that perspective. Sarah Jacoby, SELF, "How Does Cannabis Actually Affect Sex?," 25 Mar. 2019 To answer these cliffhangers, GoodHousekeeping.com got on the phone with some of the show's writers and cast members, who gave us the firsthand scoop on what's going to happen in the Pearsons' lives. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "'This Is Us' Season 4 Sounds Like It's Going to Be a REALLY Hard One for Fans," 19 Mar. 2019 Leave me a comment below with your design question and check back next Tuesday to see if yours is answered, happy designing! Maya Mcdowell, House Beautiful, "Yasss, Queer Eye's Bobby Berk is Launching a Furniture Line," 25 Feb. 2019 Representatives from Northrop Grumman declined to answer any questions about the bomber program. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "New U.S. Secret Bomber Program Passes Critical Design Review," 6 Dec. 2018 The person who answers a petition in a legal proceeding, sometimes also referred to as the defendant. Jennifer Lance, Glamour, "Your Divorce Glossary: A-to-Z Terms You Need to Know," 26 Nov. 2018 Lee estimates her campaign team knocked on at least 40,000 doors, and many of the constituents who answered had never voted. Rebecca Nelson, Marie Claire, "Party Crashers: These Female Candidates Are Shaking Up The Midterms," 2 Nov. 2018 As usual, the best place to get your questions answered is your derm. Jenn Sinrich, SELF, "What You Should Know Before Using a Trendy New Face Oil," 13 Mar. 2019 A few days into his sabbatical, Granville noticed, his client started to answer e-mails less frequently. Marisa Meltzer, Condé Nast Traveler, "The Latest Travel Trend? Super Sabbaticals," 24 Dec. 2018

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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Statistics for answer

Last Updated

14 Apr 2019

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Time Traveler for answer

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

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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 e-mail
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 want ad
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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More from Merriam-Webster on answer

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with answer

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for answer

Spanish Central: Translation of answer

Nglish: Translation of answer for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of answer for Arabic Speakers

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