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 formsan·swer·er, nounan·swer·less, adjectiveun·an·swered, adjectiveun·an·swer·ing, adjectivewell-an·swered, adjective

Synonyms for answer

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


Examples from the Web for unanswered

Contemporary Examples of unanswered

Historical Examples of unanswered

  • Return me not this with contempt, or torn, or unanswered, I beseech you.

    Clarissa, Volume 2 (of 9)

    Samuel Richardson

  • They are ordinary, and leave many questions, which we wanted to ask, unanswered.

    Murder Point

    Coningsby Dawson

  • There was the sharp challenge of a guard, unanswered; the futile hiss of a weapon.

    The Martian Cabal

    Roman Frederick Starzl

  • My despatches are unreplied to, my questions all unanswered.

    A Day's Ride

    Charles James Lever

  • Hazlitt slipped like a shadow out of his mind—an unanswered question.

    Erik Dorn

    Ben Hecht


British Dictionary definitions for unanswered

unanswered

adjective

not answered or replied tomany unanswered questions

answer

noun

a reply, either spoken or written, as to a question, request, letter, or article
a reaction or response in the form of an actiondrunkenness was his answer to disappointment
a solution, esp of a mathematical problem
law
  1. a party's written reply to his opponent's interrogatories
  2. (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

verb

(when tr, may take a clause as object) to reply or respond (to) by word or actto answer a question; he answered; to answer the door; he answered that he would come
(tr) to reply correctly to; solve or attempt to solveI 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)

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 unanswered
adj.

late 14c., from un- (1) "not" + past participle of answer.

answer

n.

Old English andswaru "an answer, a reply," from and- "against" (see ante) + -swaru "affirmation," from swerian "to swear" (see swear), suggesting an original sense of "make a sworn statement rebutting a charge." A common Germanic compound (cf. Old Saxon antswor, Old Norse andsvar, Old Frisian ondser, Danish and Swedish ansvar), implying a Proto-Germanic *andswara-. Meaning "a reply to a question," the main modern sense, was present in Old English. Meaning "solution of a problem" is from c.1300.

answer

v.

Old English answarian "to answer;" see answer (n.). Meaning "to respond in antiphony" is from early 15c.; that of "to be responsible for" is early 13c. Related: Answered; answering. The telephone answering machine is from 1961.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with unanswered

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.