a spoken or written reply or response to a question, request, letter, etc.: He sent an answer to my letter promptly.
a correct response to a question asked to test one's knowledge.
an equivalent or approximation: The band tried to be the French answer to the Beatles.
an action serving as a reply or response: The answer was a volley of fire.
a solution to a problem, especially in mathematics.
a reply to a charge or accusation.
Law. a pleading in which a party responds to the opponent's statement of position, especially the defendant's reply to the plaintiff's complaint.
Music. the entrance of a fugue subject, usually on the dominant, either slightly altered or transposed exactly after each presentation in the tonic.
to speak or write in response; make answer; reply.
to respond by an act or motion: He answered with a nod.The champion answered with a right to the jaw.
to act or suffer in consequence of (usually followed by for).
to be or declare oneself responsible or accountable (usually followed by for): I will answer for his safety.
to be satisfactory or serve (usually followed by for): His cane answered for a baseball bat.
to conform; correspond (usually followed by to): The prisoner answered to the description issued by the police.
to speak or write in response to; reply to: to answer a person;to answer a question.
to act or move in response to: Answer the doorbell. We answered their goal with two quick goals of our own.
to solve or present a solution of.
to serve or fulfill: This will answer the purpose.
to discharge (a responsibility, claim, debt, etc.).
to conform or correspond to; be similar or equivalent to: This dog answers your description.
to atone for; make amends for.
to reply or respond favorably to: I would like to answer your request but am unable to do so.
answer back, to reply impertinently or rudely: Well-behaved children do not answer back when scolded.
Idioms about answer
answer the helm, Nautical. (of a vessel) to maneuver or remain steady according to the position of the rudder.
- an·swer·er, noun
- an·swer·less, adjective
- un·an·swered, adjective
- un·an·swer·ing, adjective
- well-answered, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use answer in a sentence
But there is a big twist in this story that has left both Grace Castro and Lozoya frustrated and grasping for more answers.An Informant, a Missing American, and Juarez’s House of Death: Inside the 12-Year Cold Case of David Castro | Bill Conroy | January 6, 2015 | THE DAILY BEAST
In my search for answers about who I was, I pored over religious texts in search of enlightenment.Dear Leelah, We Will Fight On For You: A Letter to a Dead Trans Teen | Parker Molloy | January 1, 2015 | THE DAILY BEAST
Her phone rings at least once an hour with questions from journalists, which she answers in Arabic, English, and sometimes French.
Yet financialism can leave voters feeling queasy, and candidates grasping for answers.Bush, Christie, Romney: Who’ll Be the GOP Class Warrior? | Lloyd Green | December 15, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
Hitchcock arrives about ten o'clock, reads his mail, and answers the few phone calls he gets.Alfred Hitchcock’s Fade to Black: The Great Director’s Final Days | David Freeman | December 13, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
Various matters mentioned by the governor receive perfunctory and formal answers.
Alessandro had hard work to give civil answers to the men who wished to buy Benito and the wagon for quarter of their value.Ramona | Helen Hunt Jackson
Ruefully Aristide found no answers save in the general chuckle-headedness of mankind.The Joyous Adventures of Aristide Pujol | William J. Locke
Judge: Now, Sir, your punishment shall depend on the shortness and correctness of your answers.The Book of Anecdotes and Budget of Fun; | Various
Delancy knew that the message was from that man he had never seen—the big boss, the man who knew all the answers.
British Dictionary definitions for answer
a reply, either spoken or written, as to a question, request, letter, or article
a reaction or response in the form of an action: drunkenness was his answer to disappointment
a solution, esp of a mathematical problem
a party's written reply to his opponent's interrogatories
(in divorce law) the respondent's written reply to the petition
a musical phrase that follows the subject of a fugue, reproducing it a fifth higher or a fourth lower
(when tr, may take a clause as object) to reply or respond (to) by word or act: to answer a question; he answered; to answer the door; he answered that he would come
(tr) to reply correctly to; solve or attempt to solve: I could answer only three questions
(intr usually foll by to) to respond or react (to a stimulus, command, etc): the steering answers to the slightest touch
(tr) to pay off (a debt, obligation, etc); discharge
(when intr, often foll by for) to meet the requirements (of); be satisfactory (for); serve the purpose (of): this will answer his needs; this will answer for a chisel
(when intr, often foll by to) to match or correspond (esp in the phrase answer (or answer to) the description)
(tr) to give a defence or refutation of (a charge) or in (an argument)
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
Other Idioms and Phrases with answer
In addition to the idioms beginning with answer
- answer back
- answer for
- answer to
- 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.