Dictionary > English Dictionary > Definition, synonym and antonym of answer
Meaning of answer by Wiktionary Dictionary


    Alternative forms

    • answeare, aunswer

    Etymology 1

    From Middle English answere, andsware, from Old English andswaru ( “answer” ), from Proto-Germanic *and- ( “back, in return” ) + *swarō ( “oath” ), from Proto-Germanic *swarjanan ( “to speak, swear” ), equivalent to and- +‎ swear. Cognate with Old Frisian ondser ( “answer” ), Old Saxon andswōr ( “answer” ), Danish and Swedish ansvar ( “liability, responsibility, answer” ), Icelandic andsvar ( “answer, response” ). Compare also Old English andwyrde ( “answer” ), Old English andcwiss ( “reply” ), German Schwur ( “oath, vow” ) .


    • ( RP ) IPA: /ˈɑːn.sə( ɹ )/, X-SAMPA: /"A:n.s@( r\ )/
    • ( US ) IPA: /ˈæn.sɚ/, X-SAMPA: /"{n.s@`/
    • Rhymes: -ɑːnsə( ɹ ), -ænsə( ɹ )


    answer ( plural: answers )

    1. A response or reply; something said or done in reaction to a statement or question .
      Her answer to his proposal was a slap in the face .
    2. A solution to a problem .
      There is no simple answer to corruption .
    3. ( law ) A document filed in response to a complaint, responding to each point raised in the complaint and raising counterpoints .
    Derived terms

    See also

    • ask

    Etymology 2

    From Middle English answeren, andswaren, from Old English andswarian ( “to answer, respond, give an answer” ), from Proto-Germanic *and- ( “back, in return” ) + *swarō ( “oath” ), from Proto-Germanic *swarjanan ( “to speak, swear” ), equivalent to and- +‎ swear. Cognate with Old Frisian ondswera ( “to answer” ), Danish ansvare ( “to answer, account for” ), Swedish ansvara ( “to answer, account for” ), Icelandic andsvara ( “to answer, reply” ) .


    answer ( third-person singular simple present answers present participle answering, simple past and past participle answered )

    1. To make a reply or response to .
      He answered the question .
    2. To respond to a call by someone at a door or telephone, or other similar piece of equipment .
      She answered the door .
    3. To suit a need or purpose satisfactorily .
      It answers the need .
    4. ( law ) To file a document in response to a complaint .
    5. To correspond to; to be in harmony with; to be in agreement with.
      The use of dunder in the making of rum answers the purpose of yeast in the fermentation of flour. — B. Edwards .
    Derived terms

    See also

    • question


Explanation of answer by Wordnet Dictionary


    1. understand the meaning of

    2. The question concerning the meaning of life cannot be answered
    3. give the correct answer or solution to

    4. answer a question
      answer the riddle
    5. react to a stimulus or command

    6. The steering of my new car answers to the slightest touch
    7. respond to a signal

    8. answer the door
      answer the telephone
    9. give a defence or refutation of ( a charge ) or in ( an argument )

    10. The defendant answered to all the charges of the prosecution
    11. react verbally

    12. She didn't want to answer
      answer the question
      We answered that we would accept the invitation
    13. be satisfactory for

    14. This may answer her needs
    15. match or correspond

    16. The drawing of the suspect answers to the description the victim gave
    17. be sufficient

    18. A few words would answer
    19. be liable or accountable

    20. She must answer for her actions
    1. a nonverbal reaction

    2. his answer to any problem was to get drunk
      their answer was to sue me
    3. the principal pleading by the defendant in response to plaintiff's complaint

    4. a statement that solves a problem or explains how to solve the problem

    5. the answers were in the back of the book
    6. a statement ( either spoken or written ) that is made to reply to a question or request or criticism or accusation

    7. I waited several days for his answer
    8. the speech act of replying to a question

    Definition of answer by GCIDE Dictionary


    1. Answer ( ănsẽr ), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Answered ( ănsẽrd ); p. pr. & vb. n. Answering.] [OE. andswerien, AS. andswerian, andswarian, to answer, fr. andswaru, n., answer. See Answer, n.]
      1. To speak in defense against; to reply to in defense; as, “to answer a charge; to answer an accusation.”

      2. To speak or write in return to, as in return to a call or question, or to a speech, declaration, argument, or the like; to reply to ( a question, remark, etc. ); to respond to.

      She answers him as if she knew his mind. Shak.

      So spake the apostate angel, though in pain: . . .

      And him thus answered soon his bold compeer. Milton.

      3. To respond to satisfactorily; to meet successfully by way of explanation, argument, or justification, and the like; to refute.

      No man was able to answer him a word. Matt. xxii. 46.

      These shifts refuted, answer thine appellant. Milton.

      The reasoning was not and could not be answered. Macaulay.

      4. To be or act in return or response to. Hence: To be or act in compliance with, in fulfillment or satisfaction of, as an order, obligation, demand; as, “he answered my claim upon him; the servant answered the bell.”

      This proud king . . . studies day and night

      To answer all the debts he owes unto you. Shak.

      To render account to or for.

      I will . . . send him to answer thee. Shak.

      To atone; to be punished for.

      And grievously hath Cæzar answered it. Shak.

      To be opposite to; to face.

      The windows answering each other, we could just discern the glowing horizon them. Gilpin.

      To be or act an equivalent to, or as adequate or sufficient for; to serve for; to repay. [R.]

      Money answereth all things. Eccles. x. 19.

      To be or act in accommodation, conformity, relation, or proportion to; to correspond to; to suit.

      Weapons must needs be dangerous things, if they answered the bulk of so prodigious a person. Swift.

    2. Answer, v. i.
      1. To speak or write by way of return ( originally, to a charge ), or in reply; to make response.

      There was no voice, nor any that answered. 1 Kings xviii. 26.

      2. To make a satisfactory response or return. Hence: To render account, or to be responsible; to be accountable; to make amends; as, “the man must answer to his employer for the money intrusted to his care”.

      Let his neck answer for it, if there is any martial law. Shak.

      3. To be or act in return. Hence: To be or act by way of compliance, fulfillment, reciprocation, or satisfaction; to serve the purpose; as, “gypsum answers as a manure on some soils”.

      Do the strings answer to thy noble hand? Dryden.

      To be opposite, or to act in opposition. To be or act as an equivalent, or as adequate or sufficient; as, “a very few will answer”. To be or act in conformity, or by way of accommodation, correspondence, relation, or proportion; to conform; to correspond; to suit; -- usually with to.

      That the time may have all shadow and silence in it, and the place answer to convenience. Shak.

      If this but answer to my just belief,

      I 'll remember you. Shak.

      As in water face answereth to face, so the heart of man to man. Prov. xxvii. 19.

    3. Answer, n. [OE. andsware, AS. andswaru; and against + swerian to swear. √177, 196. See Anti-, and Swear, and cf. 1st un-.]
      1. A reply to a charge; a defense.

      At my first answer no man stood with me. 2 Tim. iv. 16.

      2. Something said or written in reply to a question, a call, an argument, an address, or the like; a reply.

      A soft answer turneth away wrath. Prov. xv. 1.

      I called him, but he gave me no answer. Cant. v. 6.

      3. Something done in return for, or in consequence of, something else; a responsive action.

      Great the slaughter is

      Here made by the Roman; great the answer be

      Britons must take. Shak.

      4. A solution, the result of a mathematical operation; as, the answer to a problem.

      5. ( Law ) A counter-statement of facts in a course of pleadings; a confutation of what the other party has alleged; a responsive declaration by a witness in reply to a question. In Equity, it is the usual form of defense to the complainant's charges in his bill. Bouvier.

      Syn. -- Reply; rejoinder; response. See Reply.