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.
adj : replying; "an answering glance"; "an answering smile" [syn: