Meaning of answer

an•swer

Pronunciation: (an'sur, än'-), [key]
— n.
  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.
  3. an equivalent or approximation: a singing group that tried to be the French answer to the Beatles.
  4. an action serving as a reply or response: The answer was a volley of fire.
  5. a solution to a problem, esp. in mathematics.
  6. a reply to a charge or accusation.
  7. a pleading in which a party responds to his or her opponent's statement of position, esp. the defendant's reply to the plaintiff 's complaint.
  8. the entrance of a fugue subject, usually on the dominant, either slightly altered or transposed exactly after each presentation in the tonic.
—v.i.
  1. to speak or write in response; make answer; reply.
  2. to respond by an act or motion: He answered with a nod. The champion answered with a right to the jaw.
  3. to act or suffer in consequence of (usually fol. by for).
  4. to be or declare oneself responsible or accountable (usually fol. by for): I will answer for his safety.
  5. to be satisfactory or serve (usually fol. by for): His cane answered for a baseball bat.
  6. to conform; correspond (usually fol. by to): The prisoner answered to the description issued by the police.
—v.t.
  1. to speak or write in response to; reply to: to answer a person; to answer a question.
  2. to act or move in response to: Answer the doorbell. We answered their goal with two quick goals of our own.
  3. to solve or present a solution of.
  4. to serve or fulfill: This will answer the purpose.
  5. to discharge (a responsibility, claim, debt, etc.).
  6. to conform or correspond to; be similar or equivalent to: This dog answers your description.
  7. to atone for; make amends for.
  8. to reply or respond favorably to: I would like to answer your request but am unable to do so.
  9. to reply impertinently or rudely: Well-behaved children do not answer back when scolded.
  10. (of a vessel) to maneuver or remain steady according to the position of the rudder.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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