An·swer v. t. [imp. & p. p. Answered p. pr. & vb. n. Answering.]
1. To speak in defense against; to reply to in defense; as, to answer a charge; to answer an accusation.
2. To speak or write in return to, as in return to a call or question, or to a speech, declaration, argument, or the like; to reply to (a question, remark, etc.); to respond to.
She answers him as if she knew his mind. --Shak.
So spake the apostate angel, though in pain: . . .
And him thus answered soon his bold compeer. --Milton.
3. To respond to satisfactorily; to meet successfully by way of explanation, argument, or justification, and the like; to refute.
No man was able to answer him a word. --Matt. xxii. 46.
These shifts refuted, answer thine appellant. --Milton.
The reasoning was not and could not be answered. --Macaulay.
4. To be or act in return or response to. Hence: (a) To be or act in compliance with, in fulfillment or satisfaction of, as an order, obligation, demand; as, he answered my claim upon him; the servant answered the bell.
This proud king . . . studies day and night
To answer all the debts he owes unto you. --Shak.
(b) To render account to or for.
I will . . . send him to answer thee. --Shak.
(c) To atone; to be punished for.
And grievously hath Cæzar answered it. --Shak.
(d) To be opposite to; to face.
The windows answering each other, we could just discern the glowing horizon them. --Gilpin.
(e) To be or act an equivalent to, or as adequate or sufficient for; to serve for; to repay. [R.]
Money answereth all things. --Eccles. x. 19.
(f) To be or act in accommodation, conformity, relation, or proportion to; to correspond to; to suit.
Weapons must needs be dangerous things, if they answered the bulk of so prodigious a person. --Swift.
An·swer, v. i.
1. To speak or write by way of return (originally, to a charge), or in reply; to make response.
There was no voice, nor any that answered. --1 Kings xviii. 26.
2. To make a satisfactory response or return. Hence: To render account, or to be responsible; to be accountable; to make amends; as, the man must answer to his employer for the money intrusted to his care.
Let his neck answer for it, if there is any martial law. --Shak.
3. To be or act in return. Hence: (a) To be or act by way of compliance, fulfillment, reciprocation, or satisfaction; to serve the purpose; as, gypsum answers as a manure on some soils.
Do the strings answer to thy noble hand? --Dryden.
(b) To be opposite, or to act in opposition. (c) To be or act as an equivalent, or as adequate or sufficient; as, a very few will answer. (d) To be or act in conformity, or by way of accommodation, correspondence, relation, or proportion; to conform; to correspond; to suit; -- usually with to.
That the time may have all shadow and silence in it, and the place answer to convenience. --Shak.
If this but answer to my just belief,
I 'll remember you. --Shak.
As in water face answereth to face, so the heart of man to man. --Prov. xxvii. 19.
1. A reply to a charge; a defense.
At my first answer no man stood with me. --2 Tim. iv. 16.
2. Something said or written in reply to a question, a call, an argument, an address, or the like; a reply.
A soft answer turneth away wrath. --Prov. xv. 1.
I called him, but he gave me no answer. --Cant. v. 6.
3. Something done in return for, or in consequence of, something else; a responsive action.
Great the slaughter is
Here made by the Roman; great the answer be
Britons must take. --Shak.
4. A solution, the result of a mathematical operation; as, the answer to a problem.
5. Law A counter-statement of facts in a course of pleadings; a confutation of what the other party has alleged; a responsive declaration by a witness in reply to a question. In Equity, it is the usual form of defense to the complainant's charges in his bill.
Syn: -- Reply; rejoinder; response. See Reply.
n 1: 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" [syn: reply, response]
2: 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" [syn: solution,
result, resolution, solvent]
3: the speech act of replying to a question [ant: question]
4: 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
5: a nonverbal reaction; "his answer to any problem was to get
drunk"; "their answer was to sue me"
v 1: reply or respond to; "She didn't want to answer"; "answer
the question"; "We answered that we would accept the
invitation" [syn: reply, respond]
2: give the correct answer or solution to; "answer a question";
"answer the riddle"
3: respond to a signal; "answer the door"; "answer the
4: understand the meaning of; "The question concerning the
meaning of life cannot be answered" [syn: resolve]
5: give a defence or refutation of (a charge) or in (an
argument); "The defendant answered to all the charges of
6: be liable or accountable; "She must answer for her actions"
7: 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"
[syn: suffice, do, serve]
8: match or correspond; "The drawing of the suspect answers to
the description the victim gave"
9: be satisfactory for; meet the requirements of or serve the
purpose of; "This may answer her needs"
10: react to a stimulus or command; "The steering of my new car
answers to the slightest touch"