Verb answer Definition and Examples



Definition as verb:


answer (third-person singular simple present answers, present participle answering, simple past and past participle answered)

  1. (transitive, intransitive) To make a reply or response to.
  2. (transitive) To speak in defence against; to reply to in defence.
  3. (transitive, intransitive) To respond to a call by someone at a door or telephone, or other similar piece of equipment.
  4. (transitive, intransitive) To suit a need or purpose satisfactorily.
  5. To be accountable or responsible; to make amends.
  6. (law) To file a document in response to a complaint.
  7. To correspond to; to be in harmony with; to be in agreement with.
  8. To be opposite, or to act in opposition.
  9. To be or act in conformity, or by way of accommodation, correspondence, relation, or proportion; to conform; to correspond; to suit; usually with to.
  10. To respond to satisfactorily; to meet successfully by way of explanation, argument, or justification; to refute.
  11. To be or act in compliance with, in fulfillment or satisfaction of, as an order, obligation, or demand.
  12. (obsolete) To render account to or for.
  13. (obsolete) To atone; to be punished for.
  14. (obsolete) To be or act as an equivalent to, or as adequate or sufficient for; to serve for; to repay.
Derived terms
to make a reply or response to
to respond to a call
to suit a need or purpose satisfactorily
law: to file a response to a complaint
Translations to be checked

More definition:

1.a spoken or written reply or response to a question, request, letter, etc., He sent an answer to my letter promptly.

2.a correct response to a question asked to test one's knowledge. equivalent or approximation, a singing group that tried to be the French answer to the Beatles. action serving as a reply or response, The answer was a volley of fire.

5.a solution to a problem, especially in mathematics.

6.a reply to a charge or accusation.

7.Law. a pleading in which a party responds to his or her opponent's statement of position, especially the defendant's reply to the plaintiff's complaint.

8.Music. the entrance of a fugue subject, usually on the dominant, either slightly altered or transposed exactly after each presentation in the tonic. speak or write in response; make answer; reply. respond by an act or motion, He answered with a nod. The champion answered with a right to the jaw.1 act or suffer in consequence of (usually followed by for). 1 be or declare oneself responsible or accountable (usually followed by for), I will answer for his safety.1 be satisfactory or serve (usually followed by for), His cane answered for a baseball bat.1 conform; correspond (usually followed by to), The prisoner answered to the description issued by the police.
1 speak or write in response to; reply to, to answer a person; to answer a question.1 act or move in response to, Answer the doorbell. We answered their goal with two quick goals of our own.1 solve or present a solution of. 1 serve or fulfill, This will answer the purpose.1 discharge (a responsibility, claim, debt, etc.). conform or correspond to; be similar or equivalent to, This dog answers your description.2 atone for; make amends for. 2 reply or respond favorably to, I would like to answer your request but am unable to do so.

3.answer back, to reply impertinently or rudely, Well-behaved children do not answer back when scolded.

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

1. a reply, either spoken or written, as to a question, request, letter, or article

2. a reaction or response in the form of an action, drunkenness was his answer to disappointment

3. a solution, esp of a mathematical problem

4. (law) a party's written reply to his opponent's interrogatories (in divorce law) the respondent's written reply to the petition

5. a musical phrase that follows the subject of a fugue, reproducing it a fifth higher or a fourth lower verb

6. (when transitive, 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

7. (transitive) to reply correctly to; solve or attempt to solve, I could answer only three questions

8. (intransitive) usually foll by to. to respond or react (to a stimulus, command, etc), the steering answers to the slightest touch

9. (transitive) to pay off (a debt, obligation, etc); discharge

10. 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 chisel1
1. when intr, often foll by to. to match or correspond (esp in the phrase answer (or answer to) the description)1

2. (transitive) to give a defence or refutation of (a charge) or in (an argument) Word OriginOld English andswaru an answer; related to Old Frisian ondser, Old Norse andsvar; see swearCollins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollinsPublishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012 Cite This Source
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.
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 196
answer back answer for answer to also see, know all the answers take no for an answer The American Heritage® Idioms DictionaryCopyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. Cite This Source


True, but her answer left Carmen's stomach tied in a knot.

That wasn't going to be the answer, and he must know that by now.

"I remember you didn't answer," she said dryly.

The answer surprised her, but for some reason she was sure he wouldn't hit her.

Whatever the reason, she felt compelled to answer flippantly.

As if in answer to her question, he dug a tin from his shirt pocket and handed it to her.

Wear this above your left ear if the answer is no - right if the answer is yes.

He shook his head, declining to answer until he had swallowed the food in his mouth.

They're questions you're going to have to answer for yourself.

Martha jumped to answer it with Betsy following.

How will you answer him?

Jim and the buggy followed, the old cab-horse being driven by Zeb while the Wizard stood up on the seat and bowed his bald head right and left in answer to the cheers of the people, who crowded thick about him.

"O Queen of Sheba, the bees have given you my answer," then said Solomon.

This answer pleased the rich man so well that he bought Aesop at once, and took him to his home on the island of Samos.

Accountability must be at as low a level as possible, so that if government officials mess up, they answer to constituents in their locality.

Still others say that democratic leaders answer to populations that generally oppose war and conduct themselves so as to win reelection; or that democracies see other democracies as allies and non-democracies as threats, so they only wage war against the latter.

If she does not know the answer to a question, she guesses with mischievous assurance.

In order to answer her questions, I have been obliged to read a great deal about animals.

I will therefore ask those of my readers who feel no particular interest in me to pardon me if I undertake to answer some of these questions in this book.

If the tax-gatherer, or any other public officer, asks me, as one has done, "But what shall I do?" my answer is, "If you really wish to do anything, resign your office."

"Herself," came the answer in a rough voice, and Marya Dmitrievna entered the room.

"Beautiful," said the doctor in answer to a remark about the weather.

Learn More about answer

List of Verbs that Start with A-Z

List of Verbs that End with A-Z

List of Verbs by Length

3 letters4 letters5 letters6 letters7 letters8 letters9 letters10 letters11 letters12 letters