n. & v.
n. 1 something said or done to deal with or in reaction to a question, statement, or circumstance. 2 the solution to a problem.
v. 1 tr. make an answer to (answer me; answer my question). 2 intr. (often foll. by to) make an answer. 3 tr. respond to the summons or signal of (answer the door; answer the telephone). 4 tr. be satisfactory for (a purpose or need). 5 intr. (foll. by for, to) be responsible (you will answer to me for your conduct). 6 intr. (foll. by to) correspond, esp. to a description. 7 intr. be satisfactory or successful. answer back answer a rebuke etc. impudently. answering machine a tape recorder which supplies a recorded answer to a telephone call. answering service a business that receives and answers telephone calls for its clients. answer to the name of be called.
[ OE andswaru, andswarian f. Gmc, = swear against (charge) ]