answer

An answer is a response to a question, problem, or need. If you don’t get enough sleep, quitting your late-night TV habit might be the answer.

Answer, which can be a noun or a verb, comes from the Old English for swear, and the word originally meant an official, sworn response to a legal charge. We don’t have to be sworn in when we answer a question, however, we just need to reply. Answer also means "solution." Is the answer to poverty better education? If you meet a requirement, you answer it. If you are obligated to someone, you answer to him.

Primary Meanings of answer

1.
nv
a statement (either spoken or written) that is made to reply to a question or request or criticism or accusation
react verbally
2.
nv
the principal pleading by the defendant in response to plaintiff's complaint; in criminal law it consists of the defendant's plea of `guilty' or `not guilty' (or nolo contendere); in civil law it must contain denials of all allegations in the plaintiff's complaint that the defendant hopes to controvert and it can contain affirmative defenses or counterclaims
give a defence or refutation of (a charge) or in (an argument)
3.
nv
a nonverbal reaction
react to a stimulus or command
4.
v
understand the meaning of
5.
v
be sufficient; be adequate, either in quality or quantity
6.
v
match or correspond
Full Definitions of answer
1

n a statement (either spoken or written) that is made to reply to a question or request or criticism or accusation

“I waited several days for his answer
Synonyms:
reply, response
Types:
rescript
a reply by a Pope to an inquiry concerning a point of law or morality
feedback
response to an inquiry or experiment
Type of:
statement
a message that is stated or declared; a communication (oral or written) setting forth particulars or facts etc

n the speech act of replying to a question

Antonyms:
enquiry, inquiry, interrogation, query, question
an instance of questioning
Types:
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Urim and Thummim
lots thrown to determine God's answers to yes-no questions
defence, defense, refutation
the speech act of answering an attack on your assertions
confutation
the speech act of refuting conclusively
rebuttal
the speech act of refuting by offering a contrary contention or argument
Type of:
reply, response
the speech act of continuing a conversational exchange

n a statement that solves a problem or explains how to solve the problem

“the answers were in the back of the book”
Synonyms:
resolution, result, solution, solvent
Types:
denouement
the final resolution of the main complication of a literary or dramatic work
Type of:
statement
a message that is stated or declared; a communication (oral or written) setting forth particulars or facts etc

v react verbally

“She didn't want to answer
answer the question”
“We answered that we would accept the invitation”
Synonyms:
reply, respond
Types:
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call back
return or repeat a telephone call
counter
speak in response
field
answer adequately or successfully
sass
answer back in an impudent or insolent manner
come back, rejoin, repay, retort, return, riposte
answer back
bridle
respond to the reins, as of horses
Type of:
say, state, tell
express in words

v give the correct answer or solution to

answer a question”
answer the riddle”
Type of:
figure out, lick, puzzle out, solve, work, work out
find the solution to (a problem or question) or understand the meaning of
2

n the principal pleading by the defendant in response to plaintiff's complaint; in criminal law it consists of the defendant's plea of `guilty' or `not guilty' (or nolo contendere); in civil law it must contain denials of all allegations in the plaintiff's complaint that the defendant hopes to controvert and it can contain affirmative defenses or counterclaims

Types:
show 6 types...
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evasive answer
(law) an answer by a defendant that fails to admit or deny the allegations set forth in the complaint
nolo contendere, non vult
(law) an answer of `no contest' by a defendant who does not admit guilt but that subjects him to conviction
plea
(law) a defendant's answer by a factual matter (as distinguished from a demurrer)
counterplea
a plaintiff's reply to a defendant's plea
dilatory plea
a plea that delays the action without settling the cause of action; it can challenge the jurisdiction or claim disability of the defendant etc. (such defenses are usually raised in the defendant's answer)
insanity plea, plea of insanity
(criminal law) a plea in which the defendant claims innocence due to mental incompetence at the time
Type of:
pleading
(law) a statement in legal and logical form stating something on behalf of a party to a legal proceeding

v give a defence or refutation of (a charge) or in (an argument)

“The defendant answered to all the charges of the prosecution”
Type of:
rebut, refute
overthrow by argument, evidence, or proof
3

n a nonverbal reaction

“his answer to any problem was to get drunk”
“their answer was to sue me”
Type of:
reaction, response
a bodily process occurring due to the effect of some antecedent stimulus or agent

v react to a stimulus or command

“The steering of my new car answers to the slightest touch”
Type of:
react, respond
show a response or a reaction to something

v respond to a signal

answer the door”
answer the telephone”
Type of:
react, respond
show a response or a reaction to something
4

v understand the meaning of

“The question concerning the meaning of life cannot be answered
Synonyms:
resolve
Type of:
figure out, lick, puzzle out, solve, work, work out
find the solution to (a problem or question) or understand the meaning of
5

v be sufficient; be adequate, either in quality or quantity

“A few words would answer
Synonyms:
do, serve, suffice
Types:
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bridge over, keep going, tide over
suffice for a period between two points
go a long way
suffice or be adequate for a while or to a certain extent
function, serve
serve a purpose, role, or function
measure up, qualify
prove capable or fit; meet requirements
go around
be sufficient
prelude
serve as a prelude or opening to
act as
function as or act like
Type of:
fulfil, fulfill, live up to, satisfy
meet the requirements or expectations of

v be satisfactory for; meet the requirements of or serve the purpose of

“This may answer her needs”
Type of:
fill, fulfil, fulfill, meet, satisfy
fill or meet a want or need

v be liable or accountable

“She must answer for her actions”
Type of:
be
have the quality of being; (copula, used with an adjective or a predicate noun)
6

v match or correspond

“The drawing of the suspect answers to the description the victim gave”
Type of:
agree, check, correspond, fit, gibe, jibe, match, tally
be compatible, similar or consistent; coincide in their characteristics

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