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(1)   A nonverbal reaction
"His answer to any problem was to get drunk"
"Their answer was to sue me"
(2)   The principle pleading by the defendant in response to plaintiff's complaint; in criminal law it consists of the defendant's plea of `guilty' or `not guilty' (or nolo contendere); in civil law it must contain denials of all allegations in the plaintiff's complaint that the defendant hopes to controvert and it can contain affirmative defenses or counterclaims
(3)   A statement that solves a problem or explains how to solve the problem
"They were trying to find a peaceful solution"
"The answers were in the back of the book"
"He computed the result to four decimal places"
(4)   A statement (either spoken or written) that is made in reply to a question or request or criticism or accusation
"I waited several days for his answer"
"He wrote replies to several of his critics"
(5)   The speech act of replying to a question


(6)   Understand the meaning of
"The question concerning the meaning of life cannot be answered"
(7)   Give the correct answer or solution to
"Answer a question"
"Answer the riddle"
(8)   React to a stimulus or command
"The steering of my new car answers to the slightest touch"
(9)   Respond to a signal
"Answer the door"
"Answer the telephone"
(10)   Give a defence or refutation of (a charge) or in (an argument)
"The defendant answered to all the charges of the prosecution"
(11)   Reply or respond to
"She didn't want to answer"
"Answer the question"
"We answered that we would accept the invitation"
(12)   Be satisfactory for; meet the requirements of or serve the purpose of
"This may answer her needs"
(13)   Match or correspond
"The drawing of the suspect answers to the description the victim gave"
(14)   Be sufficient; be adequate, either in quality or quantity
"A few words would answer"
"This car suits my purpose well"
"Will $100 do?"
"A 'B' grade doesn't suffice to get me into medical school"
"Nothing else will serve"
(15)   Be liable or accountable
"She must answer for her actions"


  1. A response; something said or done in reaction to a statement or question.
    Her answer to his proposal was a slap in the face.
  2. A solution to a problem.
    There is no simple answer to curbing corruption.
  3. Reply to an email. (reply)
  4. A document filed in response to a complaint, responding to each point raised in the complaint and raising counterpoints.


  1. To make a reply or response to.
    He answered the question.
  2. To respond to a call by someone at a door or telephone, or other similar piece of equipment.
    She answered the door.
  3. To suit a need or purpose satisfactorily.
    It answers the need.
    • 1903: Samuel Butler, The Way of All Flesh, Ch. 41
      Theobald spoke as if watches had half-a-dozen purposes besides time-keeping, but he could hardly open his mouth without using one or other of his tags, and "answering every purpose" was one of them.
  4. To file a document in response to a complaint.