Nearby words

  1. ansi,
  2. ansiform,
  3. anson,
  4. ansonia,
  5. anstoss,
  6. answer back,
  7. answer for,
  8. answer print,
  9. answer to,
  10. answerable

Idioms

    answer the helm, Nautical. (of a vessel) to maneuver or remain steady according to the position of the rudder.

Origin of answer

before 900; Middle English andswerien, Old English andswerian, andswarian derivative of andswaru an answer, equivalent to and- opposite, facing (cf. and, along) + Germanic *swarō, derivative of swear

Related forms

Synonym study

1. Answer, rejoinder, reply, response, retort all mean words used to meet a question, remark, charge, etc. An answer is a return remark: an answer giving the desired information. A rejoinder is a quick, usually clever answer or remark made in reply to another's comment, not to a question. Reply usually refers to a direct or point-by-point response to a suggestion, proposal, question, or the like: a reply to a letter. A response often suggests an answer to an appeal, exhortation, etc., or an expected or fixed reply: a response to inquiry; a response in a church service. A retort implies a keen, prompt answer, especially one that turns a remark upon the person who made it: a sharp retort.

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019


British Dictionary definitions for answer for

answer for

verb (intr, preposition)

to be liable or responsible for (a person's actions, behaviour, etc)
to vouch for or speak on behalf of (a person)
to suffer or atone for (one's wrongdoing)

answer

/ (ˈɑːnsə) /

noun

verb

Word Origin for answer

Old English andswaru an answer; related to Old Frisian ondser, Old Norse andsvar; see swear

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for answer for
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with answer for

answer for

1

Take responsibility for, take charge of, as in The new alarm system has to answer for the security of the grounds. [Late 1200s]

2

Take the blame for, as in The kids who were caught shoplifting have a lot to answer for. [c. 1200]

3

To vouch for or sponsor someone, as in I'll answer for John as a reliable employee. [Early 1700s]

answer

In addition to the idioms beginning with answer

  • answer back
  • answer for
  • answer to

also see:

  • know all the answers
  • take no for an answer
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.