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
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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web
As the search for answers continues, here are the symptoms to watch for and tips for protecting your dog from illness, especially during the busy holiday season.—Elizabeth Robinson, NBC News, 22 Nov. 2023 In the letter, the senators asked for immediate answers regarding why Black was reassigned from his role, and whether the findings outlined in the study influenced the decision to transition him to become a senior adviser within the department.—Nancy Vu, Washington Examiner, 21 Nov. 2023 No one really knows the answers to those questions, and, as a result, some of the most qualified people in the world are fighting among themselves.—Joshua Rothman, The New Yorker, 21 Nov. 2023 Your answer will affect which features to look out for.—Jessica MacDonald, Travel + Leisure, 21 Nov. 2023 For answers on how to use the Insticator commenting platform, please visit Insticator’s dedicated Help Center.—Andrea Picciotti-Bayer, National Review, 19 Nov. 2023 And if the answer to that is yes, then millions are wondering what to eat for breakfast.—Hannah Coates, Glamour, 10 Nov. 2023 And fans who tuned in to his sit-down with Long and hoped for more clarity walked away with no new answers.—Jonah Valdez, Los Angeles Times, 9 Nov. 2023 As to what exactly Thompson’s doctorate was in, that was a question to which the answer varied, depending on the situation.—Rory Feehan, SPIN, 9 Nov. 2023
Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba has blamed a communication failure and expressed regret, but the city has declined to answer detailed questions.—Jon Schuppe, NBC News, 23 Nov. 2023 Former official says Long Beach hospital ‘dismissed’ plea for barrier to prevent deaths
Sept. 3, 2023
Neither an Anaheim city spokesperson nor other city officials answered questions from The Times about whether the city had suggested that Disneyland install barriers following last week’s incident.—Emily Alpert Reyes, Los Angeles Times, 22 Nov. 2023 In the five days before the holiday, Mr. Ramaswamy, 38, hosted over two dozen events, many offering free breakfast, lunch or dinner, eager to answer voter questions.—Anjali Huynh, New York Times, 22 Nov. 2023 Lucky for all of us, these Black Friday perfume deals have answered a handful of prayers.—Sarah Hoffmann, Allure, 22 Nov. 2023 At this month’s Monster-Mania Con, the actress, 50, answered fan questions about starring in the first five Scream movies as Sidney Prescott.—Jack Smart, Peoplemag, 21 Nov. 2023 Head-to-toe metallic outfits that promise to answer every single party season dress code, and even give the disco ball a run for its money.—Georgia Trodd, Glamour, 10 Nov. 2023 Roll a letter die, start the timer, and answer that round's list of categories with words that start with the letter.—WIRED, 10 Nov. 2023 The conversation started when Rapinoe asked Krieger what the date of her final game with Gotham would be, and Krieger answered with the NWSL's Nov. 11 championship date.—Natasha Dye, Peoplemag, 10 Nov. 2023 See More
These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'answer.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.
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-
First Known Use
before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a
: 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
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.
2 of 2intransitive verb
: to serve or file an answer
: to make oneself responsible or accountable (as for the debt of another)