Meaning of ANSWER in English

I. ˈan(t)-sər noun

Etymology: Middle English, from Old English andswaru (akin to Old Norse andsvar answer); akin to Old English and- against, swerian to swear — more at ante-

Date: before 12th century


a. : something spoken or written in reply to a question

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

television's answer to the news magazines


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

II. verb

( an·swered ; an·swer·ing ˈan(t)s-riŋ, ˈan(t)-sə-)

Date: before 12th century

intransitive verb

1. : to speak or write in reply


a. : to be or make oneself responsible or accountable

answer for a debt

b. : to make amends : atone

must answer for his crimes

3. : to be in conformity or correspondence

answer ed to the description

4. : to act in response to an action performed elsewhere or by another

the home team scored first but the visitors answer ed quickly

5. : to be adequate : serve

an old bucket answer ed for a sink

transitive verb


a. : 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


a. : to correspond to

answer s the description

b. : to be adequate or usable for : fulfill

answer a need

4. obsolete : to atone for

5. : to act in response to

answer ed the call to arms

6. : to offer a solution for ; especially : solve

answer a riddle

• an·swer·er ˈan(t)-sər-ər noun

Merriam-Webster's Collegiate English vocabulary.      Энциклопедический словарь английского языка Merriam Webster.