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"
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 telephone"
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 the prosecution"
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"
Etymology 1Old English andswaru
An answer was originally a solemn assertion in opposition to some one or something, and thus generally any counter-statement or defence, a reply to a question or objection, or a correct solution of a problem. In the common law, an answer is the first pleading by a defendant, usually filed and served upon the plaintiff within a certain strict time limit after a civil complaint or criminal information or indictment has been served upon the defendant. It may have been preceded by an optional "pre-answer" motion to dismiss or demurrer; if such a motion is unsuccessful, the defendant must file an answer to the complaint or risk an adverse default judgment.
The answer establishes which allegations (cause of action in civil matters) set forth by the complaining party will be contested by the defendant, and states all the defendant's defenses, thus establishing the nature and parameters of the controversy to be decided by the court.
In the case of a criminal case there is usually an arraignment or some other kind of appearance before the court by the defendant. The pleading in the criminal case, which is entered on the record in open court, is either guilty or not guilty. Generally speaking in private, civil cases there is no guilt or innocence. There is only a judgment that grants money damages or some other kind of equitable remedy such as restitution or an injunction. Criminal cases may lead to fines or other punishment, such as imprisonment.
The famous Latin Responsa Prudentium ("answers of the learned ones") were the accumulated views of many successive generations of Roman lawyers, a body of legal opinion which gradually became authoritative.
In music an "answer" (also known as countersubject) is the technical name in counterpoint for the repetition or modification by one part or instrument of a theme proposed by another.
Generally, an answer is a reply to a question or is a solution, a retaliation, or a response.
answer in German: Antwort
answer in Dutch: Antwoord
answer in Polish: Odpowiedź
answer in Russian: Ответ
answer in Yiddish: ענטפער
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suffice, suit, suit the occasion, support, surrebuttal, surrebutter, surrejoinder, sustain, tactic, take it, take the bait, talk back, talking, tally, telepathy, temporary expedient, thought, tie in with, touch, touch upon, traffic, treat of, trick, truck, trump, two-way communication, undermine, undermining, undo, unlock, unravel, unraveling, unriddle, unriddling, unscramble, unscrambling, unspinning, untangle, untangling, unthinking response, untwist, untwisting, unweave, unweaving, uphold, upset, upsetting, upshot, urge reasons for, utterance, versicle, word, work, work out, working, working hypothesis, working proposition, working-out, yield a profit