Explain or justify something to someone, as in If Mary doesn't help us finish this project, she'll have to answer to the boss. This expression was at first used mainly for replying to legal charges. [c. a.d. 950]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.
How to use answer to in a sentence
I have a letter from him which I am going to answer to-night.The Heir of Redclyffe | Charlotte M. Yonge
I see that you would rather not answer to-day, Miss Sharp—you might prefer to go now and think about it?Man and Maid | Elinor Glyn
"I will consider it, and give you an answer to-morrow morning," replied Captain Chantor.Fighting for the Right | Oliver Optic
Yours of to-day just this moment received, and the Secretary having left it is impossible for me to answer to-day.The Papers And Writings Of Abraham Lincoln, Volume Seven | Abraham Lincoln
The whole of the questions in them I cannot answer to-night, but will do so presently, when I obtain the full information.The Life and Letters of Lafcadio Hearn, Volume 2 | Elizabeth Bisland