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

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 lecture will also have a question-and-answer segment with an insurance agent who specializes in Medicare. Burbank Leader, "Burbank Area Calendar: Square-dancing class for singles and couples offered at senior center," 16 Sep. 2019 Saturday’s loss to the Black Knights didn’t provide any answers to the questions that the Roadrunners need. Nick Talbot, ExpressNews.com, "UTSA’s loss to Army not a setback," 14 Sep. 2019 The Courier Journal's Kirby Adams and Kathryn Gregory give you all of the answers to your questions about the Bourbon & Beyond music festival. Kirby Adams, The Courier-Journal, "Here's how to live your 'fest life' at the Bourbon & Beyond music festival," 12 Sep. 2019 The answer involves Donald Trump, as 2020 will be a referendum on his presidency and a barometer for candidates up and down the ballot. Jamie Hancock, Dallas News, "Who has the secret audio of Texas House speaker meeting, Rick Perry's Instagram gaffe, Dallas mayor has a new job," 27 Aug. 2019 Singer then arranged for cheating on Huffman’s daughter’s SAT test by having a proctor correct the teen’s answers after the fact. Jeff Truesdell, PEOPLE.com, "Ohio Mom Imprisoned for Falsifying Kids' School District Speaks Out on Felicity Huffman's Sentence," 16 Sep. 2019 And while a specific diagnosis for Kardashian's symptoms was up in the air for a while, the reality TV star and businesswoman finally has an answer to what's been ailing her. Amber Brenza, Health.com, "Kim Kardashian Reveals Psoriatic Arthritis Diagnosis—Here's What That Means," 16 Sep. 2019 The Trump Administration’s answer has been to choke off routes to asylum (including claims of domestic abuse), to deport as many Guatemalans as possible, and to divert asylum seekers from other countries to Guatemala. BostonGlobe.com, "But desperate people will not be deterred.," 14 Sep. 2019 Singer, who has pleaded guilty, allegedly bribed a test proctor to correct the teenager's answers. Collin Binkley, Anchorage Daily News, "Felicity Huffman gets 14 days in jail, fine, community service for role in college admissions scam," 13 Sep. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb If not for the penalty, the Packers would have attempted their game-tying field goal with about 1:36 to play, plenty of time for the Lions to potentially answer. Dave Birkett, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Lions' 2019 season (so far) has been defined by these 5 plays," 7 Nov. 2019 Before the call was made, Huntersville police said Ogle had not shown up at work in the morning and was not answering calls, which prompted a family relative to go to the home to check on him. Fox News, "North Carolina teacher accused of having sex with student found dead in home along with husband," 7 Nov. 2019 Chief Academic, Equity and Accountability Officer Jason Anderson, and Equity and Inclusion Officer and Judith Jones will represent CCPS and answer questions. Catalina Righter, baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll, "Carroll school system to host minority families forum," 7 Nov. 2019 There also will be an informal roundtable during which scientists will answer questions via Facebook and Twitter using hashtag #AskNASA. Doreen Christensen, sun-sentinel.com, "Mercury will pass in front of the sun on Monday. Here’s how to see it without burning your eyes," 6 Nov. 2019 There the percentage answering one kiss was slightly lower, at around 70%, but still a clear majority. Mathieu Avanzi, Quartz, "Which cheek and how many? The origins of the other French kiss," 6 Nov. 2019 The sheriff’s office said it is not permitted to discuss her case under state law and would not answer reporters’ questions about her time in jail. Jason Pohl, ProPublica, "A Jail Increased Extreme Isolation to Stop Suicides. More People Killed Themselves.," 5 Nov. 2019 At the meeting, EMH&T distributed a fact sheet that answered frequently asked questions about the project, according to the city’s website. Bob Sandrick, cleveland, "Strongsville to seek state Issue 1 funding for $1.6 million roundabout at Howe and Shurmer roads," 5 Nov. 2019 Last week Hall caught up with Billboard to talk about Nashville's most iconic venue and answer five questions about her life in live music. Dave Brooks, Billboard, "Five Questions With Chip Hooper Nominee Chrissy Hall From The Ryman," 1 Nov. 2019

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

27 Oct 2019

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
How to pronounce answer (audio)

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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Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for answer

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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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