Definition of answer verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

      

    answer

     verb
    verb
    BrE BrE//ˈɑːnsə(r)//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈænsər//
     
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they answer
    BrE BrE//ˈɑːnsə(r)//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈænsər//
     
    he / she / it answers
    BrE BrE//ˈɑːnsəz//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈænsərz//
     
    past simple answered
    BrE BrE//ˈɑːnsəd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈænsərd//
     
    past participle answered
    BrE BrE//ˈɑːnsəd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈænsərd//
     
    -ing form answering
    BrE BrE//ˈɑːnsərɪŋ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈænsərɪŋ//
     
     
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  1. 1  [intransitive, transitive] to say, write or do something as a reaction to a question or situation synonym reply I repeated the question, but she didn't answer. He answered as truthfully as he could. answer something You haven't answered my question. to answer a letter/an advertisement to answer the phone (= to pick up the phone when it rings) to answer the door (= to open the door when somebody knocks/rings) My prayers have been answered (= I have got what I wanted). He refused to answer the charges against him. We are grateful to all those people who answered our call for help with fund-raising. answer (somebody) Come on, answer me! Where were you? He answered me with a smile. + speech ‘I'd prefer to walk,’ she answered. answer somebody + speech ‘I'd prefer to walk,’ she answered him. answer (somebody) that… She answered that she would prefer to walk. answer somebody something Answer me this: how did they know we were here? Which Word?answer / replyVerbs Answer and reply are the most common verbs used for speaking or writing as a reaction to a question, letter, etc. Note that you answer a person, question or letter, not answer to them, but you reply to somebody or something:I’m writing to answer your questions I’m writing to reply to your questions. I’m writing to answer to your questions. Answer can be used with or without an object:I haven’t answered her email yet. I knocked on the door but nobody answered. Reply is often used with the actual words spoken:‘I won’t let you down,’ he replied. Respond is less common and more formal:The directors were unwilling to respond to questions. You can only answer a door or a phone. see also rejoin2, retort, get back to somebodyNouns Note the phrases in answer to and in reply to:I’m writing in answer to your letter. see also response, rejoinder, retort
  2. 2[transitive] answer something (formal) to be suitable for something; to match something Does this answer your requirements?
  3. Word Origin Old English andswaru (noun), andswarian (verb), of Germanic origin; from a base shared by swear.Extra examples He tried to answer as honestly as he could. She answered in the affirmative. She answered simply, ‘No.’ What he told me does not fully answer the question of what his motives were. ‘I’d prefer to walk,’ she answered. Could somebody answer the phone? Does this document answer your requirements? He never answered my letters. I repeated the question, but she didn’t answer. My prayers have been answered. They never bother to answer the door. Volunteer teachers definitely answer a need in the region. You haven’t answered my question.Idioms
    answer/fit a description (of somebody/something)
     
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    to be like a particular person or thing A child answering the description of the missing boy was found safe and well in London yesterday.
    answer to the name of something
     
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    (especially of a pet animal) to be called something The dog was an ugly brute, answering to the name of Spike.
    Phrasal Verbsanswer backanswer backanswer for somethinganswer for somebodyanswer to somebody (for something)
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: answer