answer

noun
an·​swer | \ ˈan(t)-sər \

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 , 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 \ 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

To escape these truths, silencing has very often been the answer. Rachel Elizabeth Cargle, Harper's BAZAAR, "When White People Are Uncomfortable, Black People Are Silenced," 9 Jan. 2019 At the time, there were more questions about LiveWire than there were answers, but Harley has finally released details on the bike, which will reportedly retail for $29,000 when the company starts fulfilling orders in the fall. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "Harley-Davidson's LiveWire Electric Bike Is Here—And Very Expensive," 7 Jan. 2019 Goddess Mode is an answer written in neon and transformation sequences. Laura Hudson, The Verge, "Zoe Quinn’s Goddess Mode makes cyberpunk magic from the internet," 27 Dec. 2018 And so the Internet Bill of Rights is an answer to say, Congress needs to do something to safeguard people’s privacy. Eric Johnson, Recode, "Silicon Valley congressman Ro Khanna explains his ‘internet bill of rights’," 6 Oct. 2018 Maybe the answer is to buy Kondo’s joy-tracking calendar or to sign up for one of her seminars. Pamela Druckerman, Marie Claire, "The Life-Changing Magic of Marie Kondo," 21 Dec. 2018 According to top makeup artist Romy Soleimani, the answer is yes. Jenna Rennert, Vogue, "How to Wear Glitter Makeup Like a Grown-Up," 20 Dec. 2018 There are currently more questions than answers surrounding Airbnb’s latest announcement, although Wallpaper reports that Samara is looking to offer Backyard test units as soon as autumn 2019. Megan Barber, Curbed, "Is Airbnb’s next move building houses?," 29 Nov. 2018 On the show, the answer is simple: Eve is at the Air Force Academy. Megan Stein, Country Living, "Here's Why Last Man Standing's Eve Baxter Has Been Missing This Season," 9 Nov. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Thousands of employees will answer phones during the tax-filing season, according to the plan. Richard Rubin, WSJ, "More Than Half of IRS Employees to Work During Tax-Filing Season, Treasury Says," 15 Jan. 2019 Kavanaugh answered, toddler-like, by firing the question back at her. Julia Felsenthal, Vogue, "Personable, Popular, Pragmatic: Is Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar the Democrat’s Secret Weapon?," 15 Jan. 2019 As for now, the team hopes that their project can help answer the big questions about solar energy: Who's using it, who isn't, and what's stopping people from using it more? David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "New Map Powered by A.I. Reveals Almost Every Solar Panel in America," 20 Dec. 2018 After the vote, Lyles left the meeting without answering questions from the media. Steve Harrison, charlotteobserver, "Mayor Lyles defends pursuit of Republican convention to skeptical fellow Democrats," 11 July 2018 Well, some of our burning questions about her whereabouts were finally answered on December 18, when got our first glimpse of the star in four months. Alyssa Hardy, Teen Vogue, "Here Are The First Photos of Selena Gomez Since Her Hiatus," 19 Dec. 2018 Most people would answer no—assuming the airplane in question was in flight. Jill Kiedaisch, Popular Mechanics, "Study Shows Parachutes Are Totally Worthless," 17 Dec. 2018 Thanks to platforms like Twitter and Instagram, fans can contact their favorite celebrities directly and publicly—and said celebrities can answer, directly and publicly as well, which Chrissy Teigen frequently offers a masterclass in. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "Why "Comments by Chrissy Teigen" Is the Underrated Celebrity Instagram Account You Should Be Following," 17 Dec. 2018 Here are the biggest questions fans want answered in season 2 of Elite: (Spoilers from season 1 ahead!) Will Nano be going to jail for Marina's death? Tamara Fuentes, Seventeen, "Here's Everything We Know About "Elite" Season 2," 19 Oct. 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

20 Jan 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 \

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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