Meaning of ANSWER in English

/ ˈɑːnsə(r); NAmE ˈæn-/ noun , verb

■ noun answer (to sth)


something that you say, write or do to react to a question or situation :

I can't easily give an answer to your question.

Have you had an answer to your letter?

As if in answer to our prayers, she offered to lend us £10 000.

I rang the bell, but there was no answer.

She had no answer to the accusations.


something that you write or say in reply to a question in a test, an exam, an exercise, etc.; the correct reply to a question in a test, etc. :

Write your answers on the sheet provided.

Do you know the answer to question 12? (= the right one)


a solution to a problem :

There is no easy answer.

This could be the answer to all our problems.

The obvious answer would be to cancel the party.


a person or thing from one place that may be thought to be as good as a famous person or thing from another place :

The new theme park will be Britain's answer to Disneyland.


- have / know all the answers

—more at no exclamation

■ verb


to say, write or do sth as a reaction to a question or situation

SYN reply :

[ v ]

I repeated the question, but she didn't answer.

[ vn ]

You haven't answered my question .

to answer a letter / an advertisement

to answer the phone (= to pick up the phone when it rings)

to answer the door (= to open the door when sb knocks / rings)

My prayers have been answered (= I have got what I wanted) .

He refused to answer the charges against him.

Come on, answer me! Where were you?

He answered me with a smile.

[ v speech ]

'I'd prefer to walk,' she answered.

[ vn speech ]

'I'd prefer to walk,' she answered him.

[ v that ]

She answered that she would prefer to walk.

[ vnn ]

Answer me this: how did they know we were here?

[also vn that ]


[ vn ] ( formal ) to be suitable for sth; to match sth :

Does this answer your requirements?


- answer to the name of sth

—more at description


- answer back

- answer back | answer sb back

- answer for sth

- answer for sb

- answer to sb (for sth)



answer / reply


Answer and reply are the most common verbs used for speaking or writing as a reaction to a question, letter, etc.

Note that you answer a person, question or letter, not answer to them, but you reply to somebody or something:

I'm writing to answer your questions

I'm writing to reply to your questions.

• I'm writing to answer to your questions.

Answer can be used with or without an object:

I haven't answered her email yet.

I knocked on the door but nobody answered.

Reply is often used with the actual words spoken:

'I won't let you down,' he replied.

Respond is less common and more formal:

The directors were unwilling to respond to questions.

You can only answer a door or a phone.

— see also rejoin , retort , get back to sb


Note the phrases in answer to and in reply to :

I'm writing in answer to your letter.

— see also response , rejoinder , retort



Old English andswaru (noun), andswarian (verb), of Germanic origin; from a base shared by swear .

Oxford Advanced Learner's English Dictionary.      Оксфордский английский словарь для изучающик язык на продвинутом уровне.