[[t]ˈæn sər, ˈɑn-[/t]] n.
1) a spoken or written reply or response to a question, request, letter, etc
2) a correct response to a question
3) an equivalent or approximation; counterpart:
the French answer to the Beatles[/ex]
4) an action serving as a reply or response:
The answer was a volley of fire[/ex]
5) a solution to a problem, esp. in mathematics
6) a reply to a charge or accusation
7) law the defendant's reply to the plaintiff's charge
8) to speak or write in response; make answer; reply
9) to respond by an act or motion:
He answered with a right to the jaw[/ex]
10) to act or suffer in consequence (usu. fol. by for)
11) to be or declare oneself responsible or accountable (usu. fol. by for):
I will answer for his safety[/ex]
12) to be satisfactory or serve (usu. fol. by for)
13) to conform; correspond (usu. fol. by to):
She answered to the description[/ex]
14) to speak or write in response to; reply to
15) to act or move in response to:
Answer the doorbell[/ex]
16) to solve or present a solution of
17) to serve or fulfill:
This will answer the purpose[/ex]
18) to discharge (a responsibility, claim, debt, etc.)
19) to conform or correspond to:
This dog answers your description[/ex]
20) to reply or respond favorably to:
to answer a request[/ex]
21) to atone for; make amends for
22) phv answer back, to reply impertinently
Etymology: bef. 900; ME andswerien, OE andswerian, andswarian, der. of andswaru an answer =and- opposite, facing (cf. and, along) + Gmc *swarō, der. of swear an′swer•er, n. an′swer•less, adj. syn: answer, reply, response, rejoinder, retort all refer to words used to meet a question, proposal, charge, etc. An answer is something said or written in return: an answer giving the desired information. A reply is usu. somewhat more formal or detailed: a courteous reply to a letter. A response is often a reaction to an appeal, suggestion, etc.: an enthusiastic response to a plea for cooperation. A rejoinder is a quick, usu. clever answer to another person's reply or comment: a rejoinder that silenced the opposition. A retort is a keen, prompt answer, usu. to a charge or criticism: The false accusation provoked a sharp retort.

From formal English to slang. 2014.

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