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From: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)

 Re·ply, n.; pl. Replies   That which is said, written, or done in answer to what is said, written, or done by another; an answer; a response.
 Syn: -- Answer; rejoinder; response.
 Usage: -- Reply, Rejoinder, Answer. A reply is a distinct response to a formal question or attack in speech or writing. A rejoinder is a second reply (a reply to a reply) in a protracted discussion or controversy. The word answer is used in two senses, namely (1), in the most general sense of a mere response; as, the answer to a question; or (2), in the sense of a decisive and satisfactory confutation of an adversary's argument, as when we speak of a triumphant answer to the speech or accusations of an opponent. Here the noun corresponds to a frequent use of the verb, as when we say. “This will answer (i.e., fully meet) the end in view;”  “It answers the purpose.”