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. Law.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. Music.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. answer back,to reply impertinently or rudely: Well-behaved children do not answer back when scolded. 10. answer the helm,Naut.(of a vessel) to maneuver or remain steady according to the position of the rudder.