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

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 Grounded and the Sill both answer questions via email, and Grounded does complimentary Zoom calls with its customers. Washington Post, 17 Nov. 2021 The answer comes in a pair of dances that revive vintage choreography in fresh ways. New York Times, 15 Nov. 2021 Thankfully, two pieces of pop culture held the answer. Chancellor Agard, EW.com, 15 Nov. 2021 Keep it simple—four interviews at most—and give candidates a clear yes or no answer after the interviews. Expert Panel®, Forbes, 15 Nov. 2021 The most common answer is having a better work-life balance (35%), followed by not having to commute (25%), and getting more quiet time (21%). Fortune, 15 Nov. 2021 The stock answer is that such development is almost always the result of a combination of nature and nurture, but figuring out where that balance lies remains a contentious question. Dana G. Smith, Scientific American, 15 Nov. 2021 The most straightforward answer is: Follow the good weather. Katie Lockhart, Travel + Leisure, 14 Nov. 2021 Sabourin wanted to work in the climbing industry full time and Arizona’s varying climates was just the answer. Shanti Lerner, AZCentral.com, 14 Nov. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The military declined to answer further questions, including about the surveillance technology mentioned in the Washington Post report. Tia Goldenberg, BostonGlobe.com, 18 Nov. 2021 Little information was available about the shooting and police declined to answer further questions. Jessica Flores, San Francisco Chronicle, 18 Nov. 2021 Garcetti’s office declined to answer questions about the slow pace of his confirmation. Dakota Smith, Los Angeles Times, 17 Nov. 2021 The chief of the Clark County fire department also declined to answer questions, directing queries back to the police department. Elias Leight, Rolling Stone, 12 Nov. 2021 The Bulls forward shook his head and declined to answer. Paul Sullivan, chicagotribune.com, 7 Nov. 2021 On Friday, former Trump Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark, who had been subpoenaed, appeared before the committee for more than an hour but declined to answer questions. Zachary Cohen And Evan Perez, CNN, 6 Nov. 2021 Halls’ attorney disputed the timeline of events laid out in the warrants in an interview with Fox News’ Martha MacCallum on Monday and declined to answer questions about who handed Baldwin the pistol. Fox News, 5 Nov. 2021 Drew Fleming, the Breeders’ Cup president and chief executive, declined to answer detailed questions from The New York Times, as did individual board members. New York Times, 4 Nov. 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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Dictionary Entries Near answer

ansu

answer

answerable

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Statistics for answer

Last Updated

20 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Answer.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/answer. Accessed 1 Dec. 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.

answer

intransitive verb

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

More from Merriam-Webster on answer

Nglish: Translation of answer for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of answer for Arabic Speakers

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